How to Prove Auto Dealer Fraud

How to Prove Auto Dealer Fraud

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, you believe that you are getting a fair deal. Unfortunately, deceptive practices may take place that could cause you to lose money or get stuck with a car that is not adequate. When that happens, you need to take action to protect your rights and seek a resolution. An experienced attorney will help you prove auto dealer fraud and get you the money you lost due to auto dealer fraudulent practices. 

Types of Fraud

Auto dealer fraud describes deceptive and unlawful practices used by automobile dealers. This type of fraud can occur at any stage of the vehicle purchase process. It is important to understand the various types of fraud that may occur so you can take action against fraud when it happens. 

Odometer Fraud

The mileage on a vehicle is the most important factor in its valuation. Odometer fraud is an unlawful act. If a vehicle has more miles than the odometer indicates, it means that the car has more wear and tear than you thought. A qualified mechanic can evaluate the odometer to determine if someone tampered with it. Reporting odometer readings for that particular VIN number might also help indicate odometer fraud.

Damaged Vehicles

Dealers often obtain used vehicles which might have been damaged. A vehicle might have been involved in a serious accident, or it could have been damaged due to flood waters or by other means. The dealer will make some repairs and might not disclose that the vehicle was previously damaged. This could result in purchasing a vehicle with various problems that could make it unreliable and cause costly repairs. 

Price Inflation

A dealer could inflate the price of a vehicle, making it more expensive than it should be. They may state that the vehicle has additional features or upgraded options that it does not have in order to inflate the price. Other practices could inflate the price, such as adding hidden fees and costs that were not part of the original price and to which you did not agree. 

False Advertising

You may see a vehicle advertised by a dealership only to find that it is no longer available. In actuality, the dealer could be engaging in an age-old type of fraud known as bait and switch. This occurs when an advertised vehicle is never available. Much advertising is done on the Internet, so always print out the particular ad that you saw online. 

Under-Valuing Trade-In

Trading in your old vehicle might be a good way to reduce the price of a new purchase. However, a dealer could provide you with less credit than you thought you should have for your trade-in. Review the current market value of your vehicle and take photos of the inside and outside to prove the condition of your car. 

False Warranty Representations

A warranty is a good option when you want to protect your vehicle purchase. However, sometimes the warranty that the dealer describes verbally is not the actual warranty that you receive. It is extremely important to thoroughly read through the warranty before you sign the deal because the written document is a legal contract. The dealer representative should not give false claims during the purchase process. 

Falsifying Financing Documents

One reason to purchase a vehicle from a dealer is the ability to obtain financing. Financial documents are often lengthy and difficult to read. The dealer may not provide you with much time to read the fine print. That could result in obtaining a loan that was misrepresented. In some cases, a dealer could have you sign paperwork later, and this could be a sign that the documents were falsified. A dealer might provide a false credit score to increase the interest rate of a loan. 

Proving Dealer Fraud

It can be challenging to prove dealer fraud, especially on your own. It is helpful to seek guidance from an attorney with experience handling dealer fraud cases. You will need to gather as much evidence as possible to show that the dealer committed fraud. The type of evidence you need depends on the type of fraud that was committed. 

First and foremost, always obtain copies of all documents that you sign at the time you sign them. Take notes regarding what the dealer representative told you about the vehicle since it may not match what the paperwork shows. Sometimes, you will need to get a professional to evaluate the vehicle and provide you with a report. A skilled mechanic might be needed to check whether the odometer was tampered with before purchase.

A knowledgeable auto body repair expert will check the vehicle to determine whether it was involved in a serious accident or has water damage or other damages that were not disclosed to you during the purchase process. A report and statement from an expert, along with photos of the damage, are necessary to prove your claim. 

To prove financial fraud, you must gather the documents and contracts you signed during the purchase. It is also helpful to document how and when the conversations took place regarding your lease or purchase. Remember that there are laws to protect consumers against fraudulent auto dealer practices, and there are specific steps the dealer must take during the purchase process. 

The sooner you report potential fraud, the better you will be able to prove your claim. The law limits the time to file a claim. In Colorado, consumers generally have three years to file a fraud claim. You will want to speak with an auto dealer fraud attorney as soon as possible to review the details of your situation. 

Contact a Knowledgeable Attorney

If you are the victim of potential auto dealer fraud, you are probably angry and frustrated. Do not worry – there is something you can do! Call an attorney that handles auto dealer fraud cases to discuss your claim. Your attorney will help gather critical information that will prove your fraud case. Many of these types of cases get resolved through legal negotiation because the dealer wants to prevent negative publicity. To learn more about auto dealer fraud, contact our lawyers today at The Bayas Firm at (720) 619-3522.

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