You should feel like a protected consumer
The selling of a car is a complicated process one in which you have no real chance to be successful. It is an art. The art of the rip-off. The dealer will distract, delay and confuse you in many ways. After a while you just sign the papers so you can leave the dealership. Does this sound familiar? It should. Is occurs hundreds of times every day. There are laws, including the Lemon Law and Odometer Law, that protect you, the purchaser, from transactions involving fraud.
We protect the purchaser from the dealer
Below is a list of just some of the ways that car fraud could have happened to you.
Vehicle History: The salesman will lie about the history of the car and not tell you that the car was in an accident or that the car was a rental car. The law requires material facts to be disclosed.
Credit Applications: The salesman will have the consumer sign a blank credit application and place false information to have credit approved.
False or Deceptive Advertising: There are extensive regulations prohibiting deceptive advertising. These apply specifically to dealerships and other businesses and in particular to car sales. If these regulations are not observed and there has been an ascertainable loss, the dealer has violated the Consumer Fraud Act. The following are unlawful and violate the Consumer Fraud Act:
- Any media used to make an advertisement misleading or hide the advertisement.
- A listing of prices that does not indicate that there are deductions in the price for items such as rebates.
- All disclaimers, time limits and modifiers must be clearly stated and not hidden in some footnote smaller than ten point type.
- Advertising items are free when the purchase price is increased to offset the free item.
- Dealer must disclose if he or she knew or should have been known that the car had more than $1,000 in repairs.
- Cannot use the terms Public Notice, Public Sale, or Liquidation unless permitted by Court.
- Cannot use terms which imply that the advertiser has an special relationship with the manufacturer such as Authorized Sale, Authorized Distribution Center Factory Outlet, or Factory Authorized Sale.
- Other terms that are considered misleading such as dealer’s cost, floor plan, inventory price, factory invoice, tissue, wholesale or at no profit.
- Cannot use guaranteed discount, guaranteed lowest prices or the advertiser clearly discloses the manner in which the guarantee will be performed in a footnote.
- The use of the statement “We will beat your best deal” or similar term or phrase if a consumer must produce a contract that the consumer has signed with another dealer or lessor in order to receive the better deal.
- Cannot use the statements lowest prices, lower prices than anyone else or our lowest prices of the year unless the dealer can prove they are true.
Window Etching: This product is overpriced and has very little to offer the consumers who purchase cars. Window etching is a product that offers a benefit for those “choose” to purchase the product. This product on the Internet is always cheaper than at the dealership even if you do want to use the product. Usually it appears as a pre printed item on the buyers order or other dealer documents.
Appearance Packages: What is this? The dealers will place $50 worth of wheel well molding or pin stripping and charge as much as $1,695. There is no disclosure as to what you are buying.
Payoff Trade: The dealer will tell you that they are paying the trade vehicle off when they are actually packing the payoff into the new lease or purchase.
Odometer Roll Back: Both Connecticut and Federal Law prohibit the selling of a vehicle when you know or have reason to know that the mileage is incorrect. The Federal Odometer Law provides for minimum damages of $1,500 and up to three times actual damages plus fees and costs when intent can be shown.
Price Packing: This is a tactic a dealer uses to increase the price and/or payments to include either aftermarket items or pre delivery services.
Bait & Switch Advertising: The dealer’s intention is to drive traffic to the dealership at any cost before you go to another dealership and buy a car from somebody else. They assume that once they get you down to the store they can get you into any car. This is part of the sales process.
Bring to the First Meeting:
* All of your paperwork regarding your transaction