Is it legal to purchase a used vehicle without being made aware that it has a salvage title?

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Is it legal to purchase a used vehicle without being made aware that it has a salvage title?

About 2 weeks ago, I became informed by several car insurance agencies that the vehicle I had purchased 4 months ago for $2,500 paid in full has a salvage-title. Although I have had to consistently repair the vehicle since its purchase, I have been given no word or documentation from them to support that my car is a salvage vehicle. Do I have a case to prosecute this dealership for automobile fraud and for purchasing this vehicle under false pretenses?

Asked on December 26, 2016 under General Practice, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Fraud is a knowing lie about a material, or important fact. Having a salvage title is an important fact; to have a fraud or consumer fraud case, therefore, you'd have to show that they knew about the salvage title or reasonably (under these circumstances, any reasonable dealership in their position) would have known about it, but knowing of it, hid that fact from you. If you can show that, you could potentially rescind the sale for fraud (give back the car; get back your money) or get monetary compensation (such as the differene in value between the car with and without salvage title). The key factor is must be able to establish the dealer's knowledge or that they must have had knowledge: if you can't do that, you will be unable to successfully bring a case (if they don't voluntarily compensate you, the only way to force them to do so is to sue them and win).


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