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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33709
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Bought an SUV on Tues. Sept 27 2013 Dodge Durango Crew,

Customer Question

bought an SUV on Tues. Sept 27 2013 Dodge Durango Crew, traded my 2013 Subaru Crosstrek. Was told by the salesman that this Durango could tow over 6000 lbs. called Dodge today and was told it can only tow 2000 lbs. I specifically told the salesmen my intentions. Do I have legal recourse? ( drove by and my trade-in is in lot for sale) Dealership was closed today. It did not have a trailer hitch installed which I was aware of at purchase. I took a loan out for 22k, put 2,500. on my credit card. Just want to know if I might be able to legally return car and get mine back cancelling the whole deal, based on either unintentional or deliberate misrepresentation by the salesperson.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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bought an SUV on Tues. Sept 27 2013

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You mean 2016, right?

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Do you have anything in writing about the salesman's claims of the towing limits?

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Do you have any proof that he told you that?

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Did you specifically purchase that vehicle based on his claims that it would tow that much?

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Did you tell him that you needed that towing limit for a specific purpose?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the SUV is 2013.I do not have anything in writing about the towing limits from the salesman. I have no proof that he told me that, although he did. Yes I told him of my retirement plans to tow a 5000 pound + travel trailer. There was no mistake that he was made aware of that fact. We both knew that it didn't include a trailer hitch and he told me where to bring the vehicle to purchase one for about $500.. It wasn't until Sunday when I spoke to a representative from Dodge that I was told it needed a "Tow Package" not just a trailer hitch, other wise it could only tow 2000 pounds. The Dodge rep ran the VIN # to confirm that information.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Ok, thank you for that information. The problem here will be in proving that the rep told you anything because if he simply denies it, then a judge would have to evaluate both stories and determine which was more credible.

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If they refuse to allow you to return the vehicle, then your only recourse would be to file suit and allege fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract. You would argue that the vehicle was misrepresented to you regarding its towing capacity and that it violates its "implied warranty of fitness for a particular use". This is a specific type of warranty that arises when a buyer tells the seller of their specific use requirements and is relying on the seller's expertise in selling them the proper vehicle.

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This is how I would see it ff I were the judge...

From the seller's perspective in claiming that towing was never a concern, the vehicle has nothing to tow with....not even a trailer hitch... so that would be a red flag to me as a judge. Normally someone who was concerned about towing capacity would make sure any vehicle that they were going to spend $22K on would make sure it was outfitted the way they needed. Further, most buyers with a specific use in mind would research the vehicle before spending that much and know what its towing limits were... A quick Google search shows that a 2013 Durango has a 5,000 towing max limit when properly equipped.

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From your perspective, if you don't have much experience towing, it would be reasonable for you to rely on the seller's expertise in letting you know what the towing capacity of a vehicle would be. Further, your story makes sense and if you were directed to a towing place and went there to inquire about the cost of installing a towing hitch or package, then that would reinforce your story.

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So to be really honest with you, I think it is a coin flip as to how a judge would decide. And the fact that you will have to hire an attorney for a few thousand to pursue this as it is over the small claims limit makes this a situation where I would have a tough time justifying it financially and that money might be better spent on buying the tow package to up the capacity to the 5000 pounds.

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thanks

Barrister