What to do about deceptive sales practices at a car dealership?

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What to do about deceptive sales practices at a car dealership?

I purchased a used car from a major auto dealership. They told me they had done emissions testing on the car. However, they didn’t because when I took it in in failed. I went back to the dealership as their website says “60 Day money back Guarantee”. I asked for my money back and they said they would give me a credit for another car on the lot. That’s not a money back guarantee. Turns out the car had a dead battery, a major oil leak, and a broken hand brake as well. I have driven the car maybe 50 miles in just over 30 days. So far out of pocket costs are $390 and another $450 is needed to fix the break. Options?

Asked on November 8, 2010 under General Practice, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your option is to sue. You could, first and foremost, sue for breach of contrac: if there was a 60-day money back guaranty and you complied with all its terms, they have to give your money back. (They can *offer* you a credit instead; but you can't be forced to take it.) Be sure to review all the fine print to see if there was any limitations, caveats, restrictions, etc. that will impact you--they have to honor the guaranty, but only what it actually says.

If you think they lied about the inspection, you may also be able to sue for either monetary damages/compensation or a rescission of the contract (voiding the contract) on that basis; note that you have to prove that an intentional lie about something important was knowingly made. The mere fadct that the car subseqently failed the emissions does not, by itself, mean that the dealership had lied and had not tested it.


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