The Consumer Federation of America (CFA), the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA), and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI) collectively looked at more than a half million complaints in 18 different states, in a 2010 complaint survey conducted by them. Auto-related complaints were quoted as the top issue by consumers and consumer protection agencies for the second year in a row, in this 2010 complaint survey conducted by these three government agencies. These auto-related complaints include misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemon buy backs and used cars with faulty repairs. These auto-related complaints also include misrepresentations regarding the leasing and towing disputes of the used cars.
Some of the top scams of auto sales last year which rode to the top of the list of complaints are as the following:
Hiking the actual price advertised in a purchase agreement
It is illegal if a dealership sells a vehicle for more than the price advertised, even if the customer is not aware of the price advertised. When a dealership inflates the price of a vehicle given in the window stickers or other media ads for his profit by including other items, it directly affects taxes, fees for licenses and registration and the loan.
Creating a language barrier – Violating the Civil Code §1632
The Civil Code §1632 states that if a lease or sale of a vehicle is negotiated in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog or Korean, a translation of the purchase contract in respective language must be provided to the customer much before signing the contract in English.
If the translation of the contract in his native language is not provided to a customer, he has a right to rescind the deal.
A used car dealership also violates the law if he misrepresents the truth about a used car.
A used car dealership is required to disclose the material facts he knows about a used vehicle on sale, as the following:
- If it had been involved in a serious accident
- If it had been a rental vehicle
- If it had been a lemon law buy back
- If its Odometer had been rolled back
- If it had been in an accident
It is illegal for a dealership to misrepresent the following used cars as ‘new’:
- Vehicles used as “demo” or demonstrator vehicles
- Vehicles already sold once but returned due to reasons which may include a failure to get a loan
Certified Pre-owned cars
If a used vehicle passes certain standards it is sold as a “Certified Pre-owned car”. A Certified Pre-owned car is supposed to perform as guaranteed and must be free from major structural damage from any previous accident. Often, many of these so called Certified Pre-owned cars do not qualify the tag. Many of the customers often found themselves saddled with used vehicles with serious frame damage from previous accidents.
Krohn & Moss, Consumer Law Center is a leading California lemon law firm specializing in auto fraud. The law firm of Krohn & Moss, Consumer Law Center®, was founded in 1995 by attorneys Adam Krohn and Greg Moss, to provide legal representation to consumers with defective vehicles and products. If you suspect that you have been the victim of a California auto fraud, you can get rid of your problem car by pursuing your California lemon law claim. Submit the case details for a Free* Case Review under the California lemon laws.