How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask LegalGems Your Own Question

LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 3204
Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
LegalGems is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I purchased a CPO vehicle from a reputable dealer on 10/8/2011.

Resolved Question:

I purchased a CPO vehicle from a 'reputable' dealer on 10/8/2011. There was no 'As Is' sticker on the window, nor was it ever mentioned in any of the purchasing paperwork. I was given a certified Pre-owned Warranty as we'll and even the option to purchase an extended warranty. The dealer claimed that the car had a 'clean' report. We recently took the car in for repair on the driver door because the window did not align correctly with the back window ( it's a hard-top convertible). The dealer mechanic determined that there must have been some previous work done to the car and even asked if it had been in a serious accident because the paint on the undercoating along the entire left side of the car was not original. I've been making payments on this car for over two years now. I believe this car was sold to me under false-pretense and want to know my legal rights and what recourse I have. Is this covered under the VA Lemon Law as well?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.

LegalGems :

Hi! LegalGems here. I have extensive consumer law experience and will use this to assist you with your issue today. I am sorry to hear of this. A few moments please as I look into a few of these issues.

LegalGems :

Let me review the case law in VA to see if the Lemon Law pertains. Generally it has to go to a serious safety issue. A few moments please.

LegalGems :

The case (Subaru v. Peters) does not help, as it only allows for extensions beyond the 18 month period if the vehicle was in the shop for an extended time period for the life threatening issues, thus requiring an extension of the 18 month period. If there was no As Is sticker, and since the car in fact had a warranty, there are a couple possible causes of action. The first would be breach of warranty, for failing to repair the driver door window. Damages would be the cost to have this fixed. However, that sounds like it is only part of the issue, as it sounds as if the damages were not disclosed during the purchase. The problem becomes one of proof- that the seller knew (or, with the exercise of due diligence, should have known) of the prior accident. For example, if this was purchased at an auction and the accident was not disclosed on the vehicle history report, the seller would have no way of knowing of the prior accident. However, if, based on the seller's experience, a reasonable person in that position should have noticed the damage, and should have realized this indicated prior accident/issue, then the knowledge may be "imputed" to the seller. Generally, a CPO warranty is rather detailed, and makes different guarantees/warranties. The first thing to do would be to get a vehicle report to see if there was an accident. If so, this would add further substance to the contention that the dealer misrepresented the condition of the car. Let me look into one statute to see if it's applicable.

LegalGems :

Back to the proof issue- if it can be proven that the dealer knew of the prior accident, then the Virginia Deceptive Trade Practices Act would be applicable. This allows for actual damages, and for a fine up to $1,000 for willful violation, plus attorney fees and costs.

Customer:

The dealer claims they had a clean CarFax report but I've had the vehicle in for routine maintenance including a recent 65k multi-point inspection and service. The problem lies in the entire door panel and possibly beyond. According to pre-purchase, something of that magnitude should have been detected in their so called 'rigorous certification process'. Even if CarFax had no prior report of this type of damage, it seems as if it should have been easily detected

LegalGems :

That is what my thoughts were as generally these CPO's have a very detailed and exhaustive checklist. If this was in fact an item that was checked then that would seem to indicate duplicity. I know some CPOs claim over 100 items on the checklist so I would be surprised if a comprehensive body inspection was not included (and a rust inspection would likely involve looking at the undercarriage). However, I don't want to mislead you, and as a judge is an individual, it will come down to his/her conception of "due diligence" and what is "reasonably discoverable". However, the more evidence that exists the better (so I would double check CarFax because if there is a report, that adds more evidence and goes to the "willful"ness addressed in the statute). Then, of course, if there is an itemized checklist indicating the seals were checked, undercarriage, etc, that further supports the contention that they were purposely misrepresenting the car, and could lead to "fraud in the inducement" - knowingly concealing vital/material information so the other party will sign the contract.

LegalGems :

You can search here to see if other consumers had similar issues with this dealer: http://www.ag.virginia.gov/ComplaintTopicSelector/search And generally, the first step is to send a demand letter to the dealer, with supporting documentation (ie mechanic's statement), outlining the problem and the issues, proposing a resolution. If the dealer is reluctant/refuses to negotiate, then you would need to file suit. Keep in mind that generally an court will deduct, from any damage award, the cost of the reasonable use of the vehicle- usually a mile surcharge.

LegalGems :

http://www.cars.com/go/advice/shopping/cpo/manufacturer.jsp?aff=national - here is the checklist used by the various manufacturer's so you can see if this issue is covered by your CPO.

Customer:

Thank you for your help. I will look at those web-sites as well. The dealer has not called me back yet (we have known about this issue since earlier this afternoon). The service manager was discussing this with the GM. The lack of response on their part indicates to me that they have found themselves in quite a pickle. Hopefully, this can be resolved without too much hassle from them.

LegalGems :

I sure hope so. Nothing like paying extra for a car for peace of mind only to have that blown out the window. If it's noticeable enough for a mechanic to notice right off, one would think a dealer would also!

LegalGems, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 3204
Experience: Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
LegalGems and 6 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.
I hope you found the information I provided useful.
Future requests can be labeled "TO LEGAL GEMS" followed by your question.

It would be appreciated if you complete the admin's survey - it's like our report card!

Thanks, and take care!

PS- many thanks for the very generous bonus. Much appreciated!

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5518
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5518
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2620
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1711
    20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1415
    16 years legal experience including consumer protection law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1160
    25 years of private practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.

    Attorney-at-Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    1065
    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1023
    Attorney with 14 years experience in various consumer protection areas
 
 
 

Related Consumer Protection Law Questions