Can an automobile dealer ask for more money after the sales contract has been signed?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an automobile dealer ask for more money after the sales contract has been signed?

My wife just purchased a new vehicle at a dealer which included a trade-in. We informed the sales person that the car had been in an accident and that there may have been some frame damage. The deal went through (they were rushing) and when the paperwork was being signed, there was a form which stated that the car had never been in an accident. I raised a flag and stated that the car had been in an accident and that there may be frame damage. They closed the deal anyways. My wife may have signed the form in error. Now they are asking for $2500 more to cover the reduced value.

Asked on April 15, 2011 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it appears that your wife signed a form stating that the vehicle you traded in had never been in an accident, even though it had been and may have suffered some frame damage. If that is the case, the dealership can probably ask for more money, since your wife misrepresented the state or condition of the car by what she signed; indeed, they may be able to rescind the transaction entirely instead of seeking damages (that's what the extra money amounts to). Muddying the water in your favor is that you state you orally told them about the accident, but usually when there is an oral representation, but then a document is subsequently signed, the subsequent wrtitten and signed document will control.

Since it is likely the dealership can seek more money, but you do have some facts on your side, best may be to figure out what would be a fair additional amount, based on any dimunition in value of the trade in vehicle due to the accident, to pay, and if that's less than the $2,500, see if you can negotiate or settle with the dealership for some lesser amount.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption