Rebuilt Wrecked Vehicle Fraud
As the attorney, we are looking for some affirmative statement or representation by the dealer that the car had not been wrecked, or flooded or damaged. The consumer needs to ask questions to make the dealer respond. The dealer may not be required to say if the car has been damaged but if the dealer says something descriptive of the car, that has to be the truth. If the consumer can establish that the dealer lied to the consumer about some specific quality or condition of the car prior to sale, then the consumer may be able to make claims for fraud and Unfair Business Practices. These cases are often fact specific. This will depend on what you DID ask and what they DID say. Not what they failed to say.
Vehicle History Reports And Undisclosed Damage
A variation we see is the dealer says the car has a clean Carfax when the dealer knows the car does not have a clean Carfax. For example, in the Georgia Supreme Court case we handled of Raysoni v. Payless, the dealer ship provided a clean Carfax to the consumer and stated the car had not been wrecked. However, the dealer knew the car had been wrecked and was informed of same by the auction company. The dealer was taking advantage of the know lag time for Carfax to pick up wrecks. The Georgia Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and allowed our case to go to trial.
The Georgia Office of Consumer Protection has published statements endorsing this view.
Many dealers sell cars they announce or advertise as “certified” cars, which certification process is claimed to include a healthy inspection by a trained mechanic to diagnose any issues and weed out bad cars. These “certifications” are often cursory and amount to no protection from buying a wrecked car. We see many cars claimed to have been certified that have in fact been wrecked and which should not have been certified. The certification serves as the lie upon which we base the Georgia Fair Business Practices claim.