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Auto Fraud Attorneys
Texas Auto Dealer Fraud Lawyers
Buying a vehicle can be difficult. Customers sometimes feel anxious about their transportation needs, and dealership sales staff often cross the boundary between bold salesmanship and illegal practices. Fortunately, several state and federal laws protect Texas consumers when unscrupulous dealers act dishonestly toward their customers.
If you think you have been a victim of auto fraud, contact Allen Stewart. The consultation is free.
Whether the dealer advertised one thing and delivered another, misrepresented the car’s past history, or packed the contract with items and services you never bargained for, the auto fraud attorneys of Allen Stewart, P.C. can help you get the justice you deserve.
Misrepresenting the vehicle’s actual mileage through odometer tampering is a common fraudulent scheme. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines odometer fraud as the “disconnection, resetting or alteration of a vehicle’s odometer with the intent to change the number of miles indicated.”
NHTSA states that more than 450,000 vehicles are sold every year in America with false odometer readings. And not knowing your car’s true mileage can cost you thousands in repairs. NHTSA estimates that odometer fraud costs American car consumers more than $1 billion each year. Texas consumers can use both the Federal Odometer Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act to sue dealers in cases of odometer fraud.
Other forms of auto fraud include spot delivery scams, incorrect credit scoring and failing to disclose a new vehicle’s damage history. Spot delivery scams happen when a consumer finances a vehicle through the dealership under a lower interest rate only to have the dealer claim the financing “fell through” after the consumer takes possession of the vehicle. The dealer then convinces the consumer to return and sign new paperwork under different, less favorable terms.
Incorrect credit scoring scams occur after a consumer finalizes price negotiations with the salesperson. The dealership’s loan officer then tells the consumer their credit score disqualifies them from financing, or financing at a specified promotional rate. Customers either must finance the vehicle at a higher interest rate or walk away entirely.
Sometimes dealers commit fraud by concealing a vehicle’s damage history. If the dealer hides or lies about past crashes, damage stemming from neglect or flood damage, or knowingly provides you with an inaccurate history for the vehicle, the dealer has violated the law.
If your vehicle dealer used any of the above methods that you relied on to buy your vehicle, you may have a valid legal claim. If you suspect that the dealership dishonestly sold you your vehicle, contact us today.
Auto dealer fraud attorneys in Texas use the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act when pursuing auto dealer fraud cases. The DTPA protects consumers against false, deceptive and misleading business practices of all kinds including auto fraud. The Act, enacted in 1973, defends consumers against false or misleading business practices that would otherwise harm or defraud them. The DTPA provides consumers victimized by bad actors the legal means to get justice and compensation.
The Act covers situations commonly encountered by consumers looking up how to sue a car dealership, as well as other instances of consumer fraud. This includes when a vendor takes advantage of a consumer’s lack of knowledge or experience, when they pass off goods or service dishonestly, advertise a good or service with the intent not to sell them as advertised, representing a good as original or new when they actually aren’t, or knowingly making false or misleading statements when trying to make a sale. If the car dealer lied about financing, this can fall under the DTPA as well. If you feel that you’ve been taken advantage of, it never hurts to take your documentation and experiences to a qualified auto law attorney.
If your car dealer lied about financing, there’s a chance you may have a claim under the DTPA. This is known as “payment packing” when the dealer dishonestly inflates the expected monthly payment to make more profit. When the car dealer’s misrepresentation involves falsely increasing your interest rate, artificially increasing the vehicle’s total sale price, or decreasing your down payment amount without your knowledge, that can be considered fraud under the DTPA. The auto fraud lawyers at Allen Stewart P.C. may be able to help you.
The automotive attorneys at Allen Stewart P.C can help you seek compensation from a shady car salesman who defrauds you during the car buying process. If the dealer says they can only sell you the vehicle if they include expensive “service agreements” or other products that drive up the monthly payment or total price in full, you may be getting taken advantage of. Some of the products, such as gap insurance or extended warranties, can help a consumer. Others, however, mostly exist to pad a dealer’s bottom line.
Odometer fraud is one of the most common forms of car title fraud, specifically because the odometer reading must go on the title at the time of sale. A consumer fraud attorney can help you if you believe your vehicle’s odometer was tampered with prior to purchase. Signs of odometer alteration can include loose screws or scratch marks near the dashboard, or odometer notations in maintenance records that don’t match up with the displayed mileage. Other signs include wear and tear on parts including the gas and brake pedals, which are an often-overlooked symptom of higher-than-expected mileage. A shady car salesman can easily tamper with digital odometers using tools purchased online for less than $100. If you think you were sold a car with higher mileage than what’s shown on the odometer, a lawyer for car problems can help you get just compensation.
Dealership fraud lawyers can also help if you bought a vehicle with undisclosed crash damage. Damage to a vehicle’s frame can not only drag down a vehicle’s eventual resale value, but also make it more dangerous to drive. Damage to certain parts of a vehicle’s frame can be repaired but will never have the same structural integrity again, making those parts more susceptible to severe damage in case of another accident. If a shady car salesman lied to you about past crash damage, a dealership fraud lawyer can work with you to ferret out the truth and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you’re looking up how to sue a car dealership your first step should always be contacting the auto dealer fraud attorneys of Allen Stewart P.C. They pursue auto dealer fraud cases as far as they need to in order to get their clients the compensation to which they are entitled. If the car dealer lied about financing, the odometer reading or any other aspect of the car buying process, the consumer fraud attorneys of Allen Stewart P.C. can help you. They work with you every step of the way and keep you updated on the latest developments with your claim. If you need a lawyer for car problems, don’t wait any longer. Contact the auto fraud lawyers of Allen Stewart P.C. today.
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