What are my rights if I bought a car a little less than 30 days ago and have found out it has accident damage that I was not told about?

I was told about minor damage to the rear bumper and door “very minor” and provided pictures to show the damage. The damage that was not disclosed is to the front of the vehicle and discovered when I took the car to a dealership because one of the headlights was not positioned correctly. The bumper was removed to see why and the issue was revealed. Do I have any grounds under this law?

Asked on July 27, 2012 under General Practice, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the dealer knew or reasonably should have known (i.e. it is basically impossible for them not to have known) about the front end damage but did not dislose it, that may be fraud; if so, that would provide grounds to seek monetary compensation (e.g. an amount commensurate with the reduction in value) or even to rescind the agreement (return car, get money back).

However, if the dealer did not know about the damage, then you most likely do not have recourse. That's because without knowledge, there would have been no fraud; and the FL Lemon Law applies only to new or "demontrator" vehicles.

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