What are my rights if the “new” car that I leased was registered to someone else?

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What are my rights if the “new” car that I leased was registered to someone else?

About 9 months ago I leased a new car froom a dealership. In the contract I signed is written that it is a new ca. After couple mounths I had an accident and the insurance company sent check to the bodyshop with another peron’s name. When I asked the insurance agent about it, they explained that my car is registered in DMW in this name. On top of that, I am having difficulties with my license plate (it is already 9 months but I don’t have license plate yet). When I tried to find out why this is happening, the dealership said that the DMV made a mistake and have sent my license plate to another address. When I asked if my car was registered before they answered “no”. That was 2 months ago and they promised that I would get my plates.

Asked on September 3, 2012 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It may be consummer fraud, if the dealership knew, or reasonably should have known, that the car was not new and had been registered to another. It is also almost certainly, regardless of their knowledge, a breach of contract (the agreement, written or oral, pursuant to which you purchased the car) since you are not getting what you were supposed to and agreed to pay for. You should speak with an attorney--from what you write, there is a good chance you have a claim to either rescind the contract (return car, get money back) and/or seek monetary compensation (since what you've received is less valuable than what you paid for).


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