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Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 6607
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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I am in Houston, Texas and I bought a new car, 2015 on Memorial

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I am in Houston, Texas and I bought a new car, 2015 on Memorial day and it got flooded 30-45 min after I left the dealership, I even didn’t make it home with the new car. The dealership had copies of my insurance policy and they were aware that I had only liability on the old car that I used for the trade-in. I was told by the finance manager that I had a grace period of 24 hours to do the changes to a full coverage. The finance manager didn’t even tried to sell me GAP or any other extras, he never explained to me those options and even he told me that for the amount of down payment that I gave, almost 20%, people usually don’t buy anything else, and he suggested that I was OK, so he was not going to try to sell me anything else. This conversation with the finance manager happened between 8:30 and 9pm. It is my understanding that Texas laws only require liability, however any lender requires full coverage. I have spoken with several people that work in other well-known dealerships in town and insurance agencies and everybody is surprised that this dealership let me go without full coverage and lied about a 24 hour grace period to get it. The new car has been towed back to the dealership, my insurance company closed the claim because the full coverage cannot be retroactive and what I was told by the dealership about a 24 hour grace period, was a deception, indeed the contract was sign under this dealership fraud.
I have been told that I should not have any contractual obligation with the dealership because even if the contract was signed, it was never culminated because the buyer didn’t fulfill the full coverage requirement and the contract was made under fall assumptions. Could I sue the dealership for legal liability (intentional tort or breach of contract)) and negligence? Do you know of any case that I can read about and have an idea of what should I ask from the dealership in regards compensation? What kind of lawyer can represent me or could I try to reach an agreement between me and the dealership?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. You mention that the finance manager would give a 24 hour grace period to get insurance. Was it in your contract that you would have full coverage? Because it sounds like the finance manager was not saying that you have 24 hour grace period with your insurance company (such that you can change your coverage after an incident that caused a loss) but rather 24 hours to change insurance to be in compliance with financing conditions.
In other words, how was your loss (the flooding) caused by the representation / misrepresentation of the 24 hour grace period?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks! The finance manager said that I had 24 hours to be in compliance with the requirement of the full coverage. No one expected an accident and as I mentioned I left the dealership, started driving home and the car got flooded. I am not implying that I had 24 hours from the moment of the accident to change from liability to a full coverage, sorry if that was not clear. I was never required to change from liability to full coverage before leaving the dealership. The contract required full coverage and the manager implied that I had it at that moment I was leaving (grace period of 24 hours).
Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
So is the dealership trying to go after you for not having full coverage? That is, even though the contract might not have included this 24 hour grace period, in what way have you been harmed by the fact that there was not such a grace period? (I completely understand that the vehicle was flooded... that's not what I'm asking...) What I'm asking is if the dealership is trying to go after you for additional damages because you didn't have full coverage? And like I asked before, "in other words, how was your loss (the flooding) caused by the representation misrepresentation of the 24 hour grace period?"
Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Did you see my follow-up question to your issue?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your follow up question! I am waiting for the dealership position on Monday, so I cannot answer yet what the dealership will propose, but I want to be informed about my rights when we enter into the negotiation or dispute. I'll do my best to answer your question, please bear with me. The contract required full coverage and they knew I didn't have it, so legally I didn't fulfill the requirements for the contract to be effective, and I never lied about it, but the dealership lied before I signed the contract saying it was OK that I didn't have full coverage because within the next 24 hours I was covered by them. If I had full coverage at that moment (either if the 24 hour grace period was true or if they enforced the requirements of the contract... I was ready to call my insurance, but the finance manager was in a rush-tired and he said it was OK to do it later-within 24 hours), with full coverage at the moment of the flood, all financial obligations of the new car were covered by my insurance company, I was free of the contract, reimbursed for the money I paid, the value of the trade-in, etc. After the accident, the dealership told me that I had to push my insurance so they could declare the car total lost, pay off the new car, compensate me, etc. When my insurance closed the claim, I informed the dealership about this and now I am waiting to hear back, the owner of the dealership told me that he will call me on Monday.

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