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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Yesterday, I bought a used vehicle from Gary Mathews Dealership

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Yesterday, I bought a used vehicle from Gary Mathews Dealership in Clarksville Tennessee. I put 1000 cash down on the car. I did not receive a copy of a contract, a car fax report, and I did not finance the car. They still let me drive the car off the lot. When driving home I found several issues with the car that were not stated when I was looking at it or during the demo. These issues include the heater not working, the driver side window would roll down but not roll back up without helping it, the center console is ripped up and contains jagged metal on it and the rear two tiers are bald. I now want to return the car and walk away from it. If possible I would like to get my money back. I was just wondering what my rights are and what I can do to get out of this. I am in the military and felt forced and rushed to make this purchase from the dealership without knowing how much monthly payments would be, the interest rate, and I never got any copies of the paperwork.

Zachary D. Norris :


Zachary D. Norris :

I'm reading through your question and will get back to you shortly

The first question that comes to my mind is why you left the lot without obtaining a copy of the contract? Its very hard to tell you what your right are on returning the vehicle when you don't have the contract to look at. However, you likely can return the vehicle if these defects were hidden from you, or if the dealer misrepresented the state of the vehicle to you during the purchase.

Tennessee's Lemon Law does not cover used vehicles. However, there are several other types of laws that can be used to help you in the event you discover that you've bought a used car lemon. First, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has what's called the Used Car Rule that requires dealers to provide consumers with a Buyer's Guide with warranty and other types of information. If the dealer has in any way failed to abide by the FTC Used Car Rule, you may have the basis for a legal claim.

Second, each state has what are called Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) laws. If the dealer has, for example, made verbal promises or didn't tell you about issues relating to your used car, you may have a cause of action. Third, Tennessee's version of the Uniform Commercial Code may provide you with relief. Finally, the Truth in Lending Act and the Federal Odometer Act might also be valuable in obtaining lemon justice.

Thus, you have a right to assert a claim against the dealer for the return of your money and for them to take back the car under the statutes referenced above.

Please let me know if this answers your question.

Best Regards,
Zachary D. Norris
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is there anything else that I can look for that might help my situation? Or is there anything against not giving me a contract?
The fact that they did not give you a copy of the contract is going to fall under the UDAP claim, as evidence of bad faith intent on the part of the car lot. However, they will likely claim that they did not force you to leave with the car without a copy of the contract. They are also going to claim that you had an opportunity to inspect the vehicle before purchasing it, and that you could have identified the defects then and the purchase was "As Is".

You need to be prepared to answer these claims. The best answer is to say "you lied to me about the condition of this vehicle and if you don't accept it back and return my money, I will sue you and I will file a complaint with the Tennessee attorney general's consumer protection division."

It might be a good idea to bring a tape recorder with you and tell them that you are recording the conversation for use as evidence.

You should also tell them that their failure to give you the contract and copies of the financing information is a violation of not only the UDAP, but also the FTC laws regarding financing.

Please let me know whether you need further help.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I tried talking to the dealer today to try and return it. He said it would be next to impossible to do that. I even tried to offer them to keep the down payment and just let me walk away from the car and they still wouldn't. They said the only person that would be able to get me out of the contract would be the general manager of the dealership and that is who I am talking to in the morning. Is there anything else I can use like they didn't give me the car fax report that I asked for. I also, called the dealer about 15 minutes after I drove off the lot telling him I did not want the car and wanted to return it but he said "that we would talk in the morning". I also told him that night about the defects I found as well. They also said that I could try and sue them but "the company has deeper pockets than you" and that I would need a lot of money to take them to court.
What a bunch of jerks! The long and short of it is that you are going to have to stand very tough and tell the general manager that they need to take this car back, that the salesperson lied you about the car, that they are breaching their warranties with you, and that they are violating the deceptive trade practices act and the fair lending rules from the FTC. They are going to be resistant to your arguments, but you need to be able to stick to your guns and say they have to take the car back or you absolutely will sue.
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