Did You Buy A New Car Only To Find Out It Had Previously Been Damaged?
Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Michigan all have laws regarding new vehicle damage disclosure. If a new vehicle is damaged after it is manufactured, a dealership must disclose that damage to prospective buyers if that damage exceeds certain amounts.
However, dealerships have tricks they use to get around this duty to disclose. The result? Innocent car buyers end up unknowingly buying “new” cars that have already been in wrecks or had damage. The laws require that the dealership in most cases have actual knowledge of the damage.
When Do Dealers Have To Disclose Damage?
The laws regarding damage disclosure vary state to state. In Pennsylvania, dealers must disclose car damage that exceeds the greater of $500 or 3 percent of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP. West Virginia’s laws require that dealers must disclose damage whose repair costs are 5 percent of the MSRP. In Ohio, dealers must disclose damage where the retail cost of repair exceeds 6 percent of the vehicle’s MSRP. In Michigan dealers have a duty to disclose repairs that exceed 5 percent of the MSRP.
Car Dealers Use Lots Of Tricks To Avoid Disclosure
Dealerships often have their own body shops or have good relationships with local mechanics. They take advantage of these relationships by having invoices prepared that falsely state damage below the disclosure amounts for the sole purpose of avoiding disclosure — regardless of the actual cost of repairs. Dealers also “mistakenly” mix up vehicle identification numbers (VINs) so repairs don’t come up on Carfax during searches.
As a consumer, you should be able to trust that the new car you are purchasing has not already been damaged. It doesn’t matter if the damage wasn’t caused by the dealership. If they knew about it, they had a legal duty to disclose it.
We Will Fight For You. Call Us Today.
If you discovered your “new” vehicle was damaged before it was sold to you, and you were not told about the damage, contact Roseman Law Firm. Car dealerships will hire experienced lawyers to fight your case. Make sure you have someone just as experienced on your side. Call Attorney Christina Gill Roseman at 800-745-5259. Consultations are free.