Is it Dealer Fraud if the Dealer did not Disclose a Salvage Title?


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Car dealership fraud is possible through a number of activities and actions taken by the company. One of these is when the business does not disclose certain information. If the vehicle was totaled and the insurance company signed off on a salvage title being issued for the non-repairable or defective car, this must be disclosed very obviously to the customer seeking a new vehicle.

This means that the person is notified either in conspicuous writing or told by the employees selling the car. Any attempt to hide this information may lead to legal action. This also means that the dealership is not permitted to say they donít know about the salvage title.

The history of vehicles and the titles granted are easily accessible to auto dealerships, and this means they are held accountable for detailing that a salvage title was issued for a car. There is a duty of care held to the company for disclosing the salvage title to the customer. Many businesses that sell vehicles may attempt to hide these matters through various means. However, if the car works and there are no issues, they may get away with these practices. It is when the driver is harmed due to defects or previously damaged cars that litigation could occur. It is important to seek a lawyer that understands these matters for potential lawsuits against the car company.

Salvage Title Details

When a vehicle has been damaged beyond standard repair, it goes through several processes. The insurance agency usually declares the care irreparable and may be considered totaled. It is issued a salvage title so if it is used in the future, the history is known that someone was involved in an accident which damaged the car immensely. Some car companies take these automobiles and repair them to a serviceable degree. Unfortunately, many are not fixed completely, and there may be various defects due to the previous accident. When this causes harm to the new owner, he or she may have the ability to seek legal recourse.

After some repairs are completed on salvage title vehicles, the car company sells them well above the value they are worth either before or after the incident. However, in order to ensure a sale occurs, these companies may intentionally hide the fact that the car was previously damaged beyond standard repair. While this is fraud, it becomes a serious issue when this leads to further harm to the car and injury to the driver or passenger. It is then that the company may face charges and a civil suit for monetary damages. Compensation and additional funds may be requested for medical treatment and the loss of transport.

Fraud and Recourse

Any nondisclosure that could affect a deal could be considered fraud. However, when it is intentional that a dealership did knowingly conceal that a salvage title was issued for a vehicle, the company could face legal consequences, fines, and even possible revocation of licenses for selling cars. Nondisclosure is considered a bad business practice, and many legitimate companies find these activities unethical and morally reprehensible. Local and state regulations are explicit in that most businesses are required to disclose certain facts about products or services that are sold to customers. This even extends to the auto industry for cars that are sold with a history. This is not usually possible with vehicles manufactured in the same year.

When affected by these actions, it is possible to seek recourse. This maybe through a contractual release from the dealership, a refund and a breaking of the contract or compensation when injuries occur after driving the salvaged vehicle. It is important to contact a lawyer to determine what to do when the salvage title has been discovered. The evidence should be gathered and explained to a legal representative so that a case may be created with the potential to litigate against the company. When physical harm has occurred to the driver, the matter becomes more serious.

The Lawyer for Auto Dealership Fraud

Most lawyers are sought after injury has occurred to someone. However, when this is because the customer was party to fraudulent activity, it is possible to seek compensation or another remedy to the situation more easily due to the evidence being easily obtainable. Unless the company engages in further criminal actions such as shredding files, it may be possible to seek a successful case against the dealership when fraud occurs.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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