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We handle cases across the United States. Allen Stewart is licensed to practice law in Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona.

What to Do When a Car Dealer Rips You Off

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There can be many reasons to sue a car dealership when you feel like you’ve been ripped off or that the salesperson took advantage of you. Maybe the dealer sold you the car at a ridiculously high markup or added on features other add-ons without your consent. Maybe they pulled your credit without authorization, or in the worst cases did not disclose prior crashes and damages or tampered with the vehicle’s odometer. While simple buyer’s remorse doesn’t make for a legal claim, many situations can indeed cross the line into outright fraud and can potentially lead to legal action.

Auto fraud attorneys across America rely on consumer protection laws to help their clients when they are wronged by a vendor. Texas consumers are protected by the Deceptive Trade Practices Act of 1973. The act protects consumers against unfair business practices that harm or mislead them and provides the means and legal framework to get compensation. It’s important to know what to do when a car dealer rips you off: contact an experienced, trustworthy auto fraud attorney. Once you give them all the details surrounding your situation, they can help you decide whether or not to pursue an auto fraud claim.

If you think you have been a victim of auto fraud, contact Allen Stewart. The consultation is free.

Reasons to sue a car dealership can range widely from things that simply cost you more money than they should to things that actively put you in danger. Odometer fraud is one of the more widespread forms of fraud occurring at the point of sale. Odometer fraud is a federal crime in the United States, having been officially illegal since 1972 and further established in law with the Truth in Mileage Act of 1986. You can sue a dealership for selling you a vehicle with a tampered-with odometer, and those responsible could possibly face criminal penalties as well. Spotting odometer fraud is slightly easier on a mechanical odometer as crooked numbers with uneven spacing show up easily. Modern odometers are digital and can be tampered with digital tools found online for roughly $100.

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One way to spot odometer fraud is finding signs of wear uncharacteristic of a low mileage vehicle. Missing dash screws, scratches on or near the instrument cluster, fingerprint marks inside the instrument cluster cover can all indicate someone opened the odometer to tamper with it. Another overlooked sign is a seemingly prematurely worn brake pedal; a brake pedal worn to the base metal can indicate the vehicle was driven far more than the odometer suggests. Worn brake pads and discs, belts, pumps, clutches and flywheels can also betray a higher mileage than indicated on the odometer. Even brand new tires on a used vehicle can indicate the dealership is trying to conceal a higher total mileage than what the odometer shows, artificially inflating the vehicle’s value.

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One reason to sue a dealership can include selling you a previously flooded car without disclosing this status beforehand. Cars pulled from floodwaters can be cleaned and resold, but flooding can wreak havoc on a vehicle’s internal systems in ways unseen to the naked eye. If the dealership does not clearly indicate this vehicle is a flood vehicle, they could potentially be held liable.

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One type of fraud not often mentioned is “airbag fraud.” One of the more dangerous forms of auto fraud, this occurs when a crashed vehicle is repaired and the dealer replaces the deployed airbag not with a brand new one from a reputable manufacturer but from another wrecked vehicle with an intact airbag. Disreputable dealers will buy these cheaper airbags at a lower price but not disclose this to consumers, potentially putting them at risk.

It can be difficult knowing what to do when a car dealer rips you off and putting that knowledge into action. The fraud experts at Allen Stewart P.C. will work with you and the facts of your situation and decide whether you have a valid claim and, if you do, work tirelessly to see it through to its conclusion. Don’t wait any longer; contact Allen Stewart P.C. today and get back on the road.

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