Does a dealership have to disclose a damage report?

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Does a dealership have to disclose a damage report?

We purchased a truck at a dealership. The window sticker said a report was done though Autofax. We asked the salesman if it had ever been in an accident. He said no. We took vehicle to Carmax; it turned out that the truck had been wrecked 3 months before we purchased it. Carmax also got the report from Autofax. Dealership did not disclose the full report from Autofax. The truck is only worth $7000 because of accident. The loan was for $14,900. After 2 weeks of going back and forth with dealership, they agreed to buy back the truck for $11,300. Anything that we can do to get the remainder of loan paid off?

Asked on April 9, 2011 under General Practice, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the dealership knew of the prior accidents and did not disclose that fact in response to a direct question from the prospective buyer, then that may very well be fraud--a deliberate, knowing misrepresentation, made with the intention that the buyer would rely upon it. If the dealership did commit fraud, then the buyer can recover* all their money and possibly out of pocket costs, too. On the other hand, if the dealership did not know and also reasonable would not have known (e.g. it was not obvious), then they would not have incurred this sort of liablity and gettting most of the money back is a win for the buyer. So the answer depends on what the dealership knew; also note that if the dealership did know but won't pay voluntarily, the buyer would have to sue to seek compensation.


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