A Court in Summit County, Ohio recently ordered an Ohio car dealership to refund the entire purchase price for a car sold with frame damage to my client from West Virginia. The dealership sold a 2009 Nissan Murano for over $15,000. When my client tried to trade the car to another dealership months later, he was given a car history report that listed frame damage.
The Ohio car dealer never told the buyer about the frame damage and in fact said that the car would be safe for transporting the buyer's young daughter. The buyer contacted me because he never would have bought the car if he had been told that it had frame damage.
I filed a lawsuit against the Ohio dealership and after getting all the records and taking depositions of the dealership owner and employees, I filed a motion asking the court to enter judgment against the dealership. I argued that the buyer was entitled to all of his money back as a matter of law because the car was sold in an unsafe condition, in violation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. The motion asserted that these laws were violated even if the dealership's bogus claim that it didn't know about the frame damage could possibly be believed. The motion also argued that the dealership was liable for giving a written warranty but then claiming that the car was sold without any warranties, or AS IS, in another document.
The Court agreed that the dealership violated the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act by not telling the buyer that it sold an unsafe car with frame damage and by misrepresenting the warranty coverage. The Court ordered a full refund of the purchase price and an amount of attorneys' fees to be determined at a later hearing. The case was settled after the entry of the Court Order.
A car with frame damage can look perfectly fine to a consumer but is worth far less than an undamaged car because it is extremely unsafe. Frame damage means that the car won't be able to properly protect the driver and passengers in a crash. Too many times dealerships get away with selling cars with frame damage because the buyer never finds out or simply gives up because the dealership convinces the buyer that there is no frame damage or that the dealership didn't know. The Court in this case sided with the consumer by correctly ruling that a car dealership can still be liable for selling a frame damaged vehicle even if the dealership claims it didn't know and even if there is an AS-IS clause.
If a car dealership sold you an unsafe car with frame damage, you should contact an experienced dealer fraud attorney. Attorney Christina Gill Roseman at 800-745-5259 or [email protected] can provide a free consultation if you believe that a dealership fraudulently sold you a car with frame damage.