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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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I purchased a new vehicle in May 2013 from a local dealership

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I purchased a new vehicle in May 2013 from a local dealership in Kansas City, MO. I traded in a vehicle to potentially accommodate my situation. The dealership that I purchased the new car from offers a Trade-In Assistance Program. The program takes the worry out of losing value by providing financial assistance when the consumer decides to trade the vehicle the newly purchased in the near future. The dealership advertises the program that all new car purchases qualifies for the Trade-In program. Recently I've received a letter from the financial institution that finances the Trade-in program indicating that my vehicle did not qualify for the program since it exceeded a 72 month term. I called the financial institution to inquire about the letter. They informed me that the dealership doesn't participate if the loan exceeds 72 months. I referred back to the contract I signed for the program and it doesn't indicate the dealership only offers the program less than a 72 month term, nor didn't the salesmen or finance manager indicate there's a term for the program. In addition, the contract states terms exceeding 72 months for new cars will qualify for the trade-in protection as long as 66% of loan is satisfied. The vehicle I purchased was a new car with a 75 month term which falls within the contract agreement.
After speaking with the financial institution, I called the dealership regarding the contract. I spoke with the finance manager regarding the program. He was unable to provide me with any further information about the program and indicated he needed to speak with a administrative manager since it is a new program for them and he's not familiar with the program. If he's the finance manager, how can he sell and sign people up with a program he's not familiar with and advertise its available for ALL new car purchases. I feel like the information I received was misleading. If I would of known that I wouldn't have the cushion available to trade the newly purchased car then I would of kept my other car without buying the new car since that was one of the determining factors for buying the car and one of their biggest selling points.
The information I received was deceiving and misleading on the dealerships behave. All the posted information the dealership has doesn't indicated they only accept vehicles less than 72 months and they advertise it as all new vehicles quality.
I feel like I was a victim of fraud and need to know if there's anything I can do?

LegalGems :

Hi! LegalGems here. My goal: To Do My Best To Assist You. Please remember, I can only provide general information,as this is a public forum.

LegalGems :

Can I please get what state this pertains to?

Customer: Mmissouri
Customer: missouri
LegalGems :

A few minutes please.

LegalGems :

Since the dealer represented that there were no conditions, this would be a misrepresentation. Each state handles this differently -some offer more protections than others. In any state, you can bring a cause of action for misrepresentation; since the contract expressly states that your car would qualify, you could also bring a cause of action for breach of contract. I'm checking into the Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

Customer: Ok, that would be great
LegalGems :


LegalGems :

Got it! It is a rather comprehensive statute. It may be worthwhile to formulate a demand letter, setting forth the circumstances of the sale, the contract (highlighting the offending parts), a copy of the statute, and your proposed offer of how to resolve this.

LegalGems :

Generally you give them a certain time to respond, and if they fail to respond, you would at that point need to file suit. However, it is possible, in this situation, that the manager really didn't know of the requirements (there are many different promotions and not all dealers stay abreast of them all - however, this does not excuse him) and will be willing to renounce the contract in light of this. Generally they deduct a reasonably amount for wear and tear (a certain amount i.e. 30 cents per mile).

Customer: This information is very helpful and gives me an idea of how to proceed.
LegalGems :

Perfect - glad to here. I just came across this-it's put out by the state bar. Please note at page 4 they discuss punitive damages.

LegalGems :

This should give you added ammo so to speak.

Customer: Will the information from our discussion be emailed to me or should I save it
LegalGems :

You will be able to link from it from your email. You can also copy and paste the URL for later reference.

Customer: Oh ok thanks
LegalGems :

Very welcome!

LegalGems and 7 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
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I hope you found the information I provided useful. Hopefully the dealer responds quickly and favorably so you can put this behind you.

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