If a dealer did not disclose my vehicle’s history and theauto lender isn’t cooperating,what to I do now?

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If a dealer did not disclose my vehicle’s history and theauto lender isn’t cooperating,what to I do now?

I found out through AutoCheck that the car I bought was a prior rental. This was not disclosed to me, and I then found out that it was also involved in an accident, also unknown to me. Problem now: the bank doesn’t want to help and the dealer is no longer communicating through telephone. I tried notifying the bank and the dealer of my decision to dissolve the loan and return the car, but I think now it’s time to move forward. What is my next step? I need to get out of this loan ASAP to purchase another car.

Asked on May 9, 2011 under General Practice, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is a used car, correct?  I can tell you that Pennsylvania has a law that specifically protects those that buy a new car that was say damaged in transport.  But used car laws are different.  There are, though, some laws that can help.  I would look in to these laws a little further and see if they apply to the facts of your case.  If they do then it might be a good idea to speak with an attorney for the sake of just writing a letter on your behalf and maybe that will be enough to shake them up.  And of course, there could be a contractual basis for ending the contract here.  Good luck.

FTC Used Car Rule – The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyers Guide in every used car they sell, including light-duty vans, light-duty trucks, demonstrators, and program cars. The Buyers Guide becomes part of your sales contract and overrides any conflicting provisions in your contract.

Implied Warranties – State laws say that a dealer has implied obligations, such as the soundness of the vehicle. In some states, however, dealers can get around implied warranties by selling the vehicle "as is."

Warrant of Merchantability – A warrant of merchantability is an implied warranty and says that a vehicle will run like it's supposed to. While it doesn't cover every component of a vehicle, it does apply to its basic functions. In this instance, the buyer has to prove that the defect was present at the time of sale.

Express Warranties – Express warranties are those that are stated. If, for example, the manufacturer of your vehicle has a five-year warranty on a drive train, your vehicle would still be covered for a year if you purchased it when it was four years old. Express warranties also include verbal representations made by a salesperson at the dealership, as well as advertisements.

Uniform Commercial Code– When a dealer disclaims a warrant of merchantability, that disclaimer can be challenged using the federal Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The UCC can also be used to cancel the sale of a used car.

Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices– Every state has an Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) law. These laws can often be used even if the used car is sold "as is," as long as the dealer is guilty of a verbal deception or a failure to disclose information about the vehicle.


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