Is it fraud if the seller removes items that were supposed to come witha car?

UPDATED: Feb 28, 2012

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Is it fraud if the seller removes items that were supposed to come witha car?

The car I looked at came with a nice stereo, sub-woofer, 4 tires with at-least 6 months of tread and the same size and brand, and the battery was new. When we met at the DMV to change the title over he did his part and left. When I was done I went out to my new used car and the stereo was changed out, the sub-woofer gone, the tires were bald and 2 different brands and sizes, the battery changed out and didn’t even fit in the harness. What can I do. He wont even call me back

Asked on February 28, 2012 under Business Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is almost certainly fraud--fraud is a knowing misrepresentation, or lie, made to induce you to enter into a transaction (and which you reasonably rely upon in entering into the transaction). A misrepresentation can often be non-oral or non-verbal--e.g. you can be lied to by being shown a fully equiped car which you are told is the one you are buying, then have the accessories, options, etc. taken out before the sale closes. From what you write, you would seem to have a cause of action against the seller--you can potentially rescind the sale (give car back, get money back); sue for compensation (e.g. get the difference in value between accessorized car and non-accessorized); and/or seek the return of the specific items (like the good stereo) which were taken out. If the value of what was taken was around $2,000 or more, you probably should speak with an attorney about the matter; if it's less than that, you may wish to sue in small claims court, representing yourself. Good luck.

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