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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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Can a dealer sell a car without informing buyer of recalls

Customer Question

Can a dealer sell a car without informing buyer of recalls should they been aware of recals
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 years ago.
Dear Customer,

Unfortunately, this is a tricky question - the dealer has no affirmative duty to review the vehicle's history with the manufacturer to discovery recalls (I assume that this discusses used vehicles, new vehicles are slightly different). However, if the dealer is aware of a recall on the vehicle, but fails to identify that to the consumer when the consumer asks about the integrity or condition of the vehicle, that is considered "fraud by omission" and opens the dealer to civil liability for damages.

When the dealer is selling a new vehicle, Arizona appears to place more of an affirmative obligation on the dealership by treating it as an extension of the manufacturer for this purpose, and responsible for complying with any recalls (including informing potential buyers).

I hope this helps, the short rule is that if a dealer knows there is a recall, but doesn't tell the customer when they ask about the vehicle they are risking a potential fraud claim (while the nuances could change things, most courts are not very forgiving for merchants that try to use semantics to get around their customer's legitimate questions).

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