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Buying a used car? Don’t get ripped off, save the dealer ad 

On Behalf of | May 11, 2023 | Dealer Fraud |

A used car purchase typically starts with an ad from the internet. The potential buyer goes to the dealership expecting to purchase the vehicle described in the ad. The problem is that the car on the lot may not be what was described in the ad. It may have more miles than in the ad. The engine could be a replacement when advertised as original. The car may have had multiple owners when represented as one owner.

If the buyer finds out after purchase that the car is not what was advertised, a comparison of the car with the ad should quickly show that the dealer lied, but this is much harder to prove if the buyer did not keep a copy of the ad. While dealerships should save ads for vehicles, they rarely do. Even if the dealership did save the ad, they are unlikely to produce it without a subpoena, and you would likely have to pay an attorney to get a subpoena when it is unclear if there is a case.

What to do if you misplaced the ad

It still may be possible to recover the ad without a subpoena if it has not been very long since the purchase. The first step is to check the dealer website. The vehicle may still be listed for sale if the dealer did not take out down yet or may be listed as sold.

If it is not on the dealer website, run an internet search on the VIN or Vehicle Identification Number. If there is a search result on Google for the dealer website but the VIN is crossed out, there may be three dots (like this …) next to the top of the search result. Click on that and see if there is a button for a cached version of the ad. If there is one, it may not look the same as the original ad but if it has the same information in text format, that is still helpful. Print or do a screen shot of the entire page of the ad.

You may also find listings for your VIN on third party car sales sites.

Recourse options if your vehicle was fraudulently advertised

Selling a car that is not what was advertised can violate multiple state and federal laws. If you believe the car you purchased does not match what was in the ad for that vehicle, contact Roseman Law Firm.

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