From work commutes and grocery runs to family visits and vacations, if you are like many Americans, your car is an essential part of your household and your budget.
Unfortunately, whether you are in the market for a new or used vehicle, a dealer may try to take advantage of you by offering a seemingly good deal based on false promises.
1. Failure to disclose an auto’s full history
Knowing the usage, maintenance and accident history of a used vehicle is crucial when deciding whether to make a purchase. However, dealers often try to make a car more appealing to buyers by concealing information about an auto’s past. Common examples include:
- “Rolling back” odometers to make it seem a car has less mileage
- Failing to disclose that an auto is a salvage/rebuild from a fire, flood or other accident
- Concealing open manufacturer recalls on specific vehicles
2. Failure to provide a valid title
If you purchase a vehicle in Missouri, the seller must provide you with the title within a certain period of time after you complete the sale. Unfortunately, a dealer may push a deal through with no intention of providing you with the title, which may end up voiding your ownership rights.
3. Failure to honor promised warranties
A dealer may offer a promising warranty and/or extended service contract to make a deal more attractive. However, the seller may simply pocket the money instead, leaving you with a potentially defective car and limited options for needed repairs or maintenance.
Under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, these and other forms of dealership fraud may constitute a felony crime. If deceptive practices have resulted in significant financial loss for you and your family, you may be able to seek compensation under the law.