Do I have any rightsfor a false advertisement claim, even though I still purchaseda vehicle knowing that the claim was false?

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Do I have any rightsfor a false advertisement claim, even though I still purchaseda vehicle knowing that the claim was false?

A dealer had a print ad for a van that they stated had “full power equipment,” thinking it would have power adjustable seats, power sliding doors, power mirrors, etc. Also, the web ad specifically listed power mirrors as one of the interior features. This is what got me in the door, along with the price. I then realized it had none of those power features, just power windows and locks, which is standard for this base model vehicle. Even with that disappointment, I still ended up purchasing the vehicle last week, so I didn’t mention the false advertising. Can anything be done now?

Asked on March 1, 2011 under General Practice, Wisconsin

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, something can be done to help you get out of the deal which you knowingly entered into despite the dealer's false advertisements. Bottom line, most deals that are used vehicles are considered "as is" and if you decided to purchase the vehicle knowing it did not match the ad specific to that vehicle, the dealer could counter argue you entered into this deal and now have buyer's remorse. You can file a complaint with the agency who regulates that car dealer. If the car you purchased was subject to a loan, contact the Wisconsin state agency that regulates auto dealers. It could be the department of banking, it could be the attorney general or it could be the local prosecutor's office. File a complaint under the Unfair and Deceptive Practices Acts (known as your consumer protection statutes) that you purchased a vehicle which was supposed to have all these features but you realized it didn't have these features. You need to be truthful that you knowingly purchased the vehicle despite having knowledge the advertisement was false.  To do otherwise would possibly compromise your claim; the person reviewing it could consider that you came to the table with unclean hands (a legal term of art) that essentially means you also did wrong and are now seeking legal redress even though you were also guilty. It is a little different in your situation because you didn't commit a legal wrong or bad act, you simply purchased the vehicle knowing the advertisement was false and now want to go back to where you were before (return of the vehicle in exchange for return of your monies).


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