Consumer Protection Law

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I purchased a car from a dealership in, TX. Throughout all…

I purchased a car...

I purchased a car from a dealership in Murphy, TX. Throughout all of the communication the dealership mechanics and workers all told me the vehicle was in good condition. I lived in North Dakota at the time and it wasn't cost efficient for me to travel down to look at it. I trusted their word, they told me multiple times. Not even a week later it was taken in and inspected and over $3000 in repairs needs to be put in. Can this dealership be held liable?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

I'm currently in Co, the car is a 2006 model. But I bought the car from Texas.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

How do you mean?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No thank you.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
8/18/2017
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,870
Experience: Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
Verified

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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I am sorry to hear this;

was the car sold as is or with a warranty?
was the car shipped to your residence or did you pick it up?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I picked the car up myself. And when I got to the dealership they sold it "as is" and without a warranty, I didn't think anything of it as I was told the car was in great condition.I worked 87-90 hour weeks the majority of the summer to pay for this. It was $6000 and now having to put over $3000 more into it isn't fun.

Yes, I would agree with that; a few minutes please as I look into this.

I'm sorry - I'm not set up for phone calls but I can assist you on this page.

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Basically an as is sale is final, and the term "caveat emptor" aka buyer beware applies.

However, if the customer can prove that the seller made material misrepresentations as to the condition of the car, then the customer can sue.

An agreement must contain four essential elements to be regarded as a contract. If any one of them is missing, the agreement will not be legally binding.
1. Offer
2. Acceptance
3. Intention (meeting of the minds)
4. Consideration (fair value exchanged)

For breach of a contract, there is a material breach (goes to the very heart of the matter) and an immaterial breach (money damages will help compensate the plaintiff).

In cases of material breach, the party not in breach may revoke their acceptance, so goods/payment are returned.

For immaterial breach, the plaintiff is compensated by the defendant paying for the damages (ie cost of repair).

Misrepresentation is when a party does the following: (1) a representation was made; (2) that was false; (3) that when made, the representation was known to be false or made recklessly without knowledge of its truth; (4) that it was made with the intention that the plaintiff rely on it; (5) that the plaintiff did rely on it; and (6) that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result.

Fraud in the inducement is similar, basically misrepresentation designed to entice the buyer to enter the contract. It requires: The defendant made an intentional action, statement, or omission; The misrepresentation was material to the decision to enter into a contrac; The plaintiff reasonably relied on such misrepresentation, and The plaintiff suffered some degree of injury, usually economic harm.

Generally when it involves a car, damages are to either void the contract and return money/items exchanged; or to award the customer the cost to make plaintiff whole- to give him/her the benefit of the bargain; so essentially repair costs plus rental fees.

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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,870
Experience: Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
What do you suspect I should do?

It depends on the terms of the contract; if there is a mandatory arbitration clause those are typically upheld; otherwise the other option is to sue in small claims ($10,000 or less)

The problem is that the customer's state would not typically have jurisdiction over an out of state defendant if the purchase occurred in TX; please see:

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/filing-in-small-claims-court

It is possible to file a complaint here;

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiNrdXrwOHVAhWBVCYKHfutDJUQFgguMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.txdmv.gov%2Freports-and-data%2Fdoc_download%2F1032-enf-c1-motor-vehicle-dealer-complaint-form&usg=AFQjCNHf6-6TeWITy-YmA8Saxvl7h7BI0g

but that is typically to determine if their license should be suspended or revoked; it may lead to a mediated settlement.

BBB is another option

https://www.bbb.org/central-texas/accredited-business-directory

Most companies interested in their reputation will mediate if a BBB complaint is filed.

If there are email exchanges that will help prove that verbal (mis)representations were made, along with a statement/quote from a third party mechanic.

It is possible to request a telephonic appearance in TX small claims so one need not travel to appear in court.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you very much. Your help was very much appreciated. Have a great day!

You are welcome; and as someone who has had to deal with this personally I wish you the best.

Thank you for the positive rating; enjoy your day.

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LegalGems
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,870
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