What can I do if I bought a car a few years ago from a certified dealer and it has a salvage title but during the sale not a word about salvage was mentioned?

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What can I do if I bought a car a few years ago from a certified dealer and it has a salvage title but during the sale not a word about salvage was mentioned?

I just finished paying it off and received the title to see that it has a salvaged title. What now? The thing that scares me is that I have bought a second car from them and now worried about it.

Asked on June 26, 2015 under General Practice, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Failing to disclose salvage title is a failure to disclose  a material (important) fact which almost certainly influenced your decision to purchase; as such this may have been fraud. In theory, you could sue based on fraud to seek either compensation (difference in value between car with salvage title and without) or to rescind the sale (give back car get back money)--at least if you'd done so relatively promptly. However, you say that you bought the car "a few years ago." The statute of limitations, or time period within which to bring a lawsuit, in your state for fraud is only three years, so if three or more years have passed, it is too late to take action. Even if you are still in time, if you've had the car for, say, two years plus and gotten the use of it, a court would almost always decline to rescind the agreement at this juncture (it's not going to undo an agreement when you've already gotten years of benefit from it), so the most you mighty get would be the difference in value between car with and without a salvage title, which may not be worth a lawsuit.
 


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