There are few things in life more exciting that coming home in a new vehicle. In addition to the pure enjoyment of a nice car, you can also have a greater sense of security and take comfort in knowing that you have a vehicle that really meets your needs. But you have to be careful, too…car dealership fraud is real and can wreak havoc in your life. Here are some things to watch out for.
The Old “Bait and Switch”
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it still happens on a regular basis, and in a variety of ways. The classic version involves the advertisement of a car that seems too good to be true—low mileage, all the bells and whistles, immaculately maintained. When you get to the dealer, though, you learn that it’s no longer available, but there’s another one just like it…a little more expensive, a little more mileage, a little shabbier. Then you get the hard sell to buy it. Another form of the bait and switch is the “price mistake.” You see a vehicle advertised online for a specific price (it’s in your budget), but when you get to the dealership, you learn that the advertised price was a “mistake.”
The Advertised Price Doesn’t Include Add-Ons
Often, a car dealer will either advertise a specific price or even have a sign on the vehicle stating the price. That price seems to be the real price until the salesperson puts the sales agreement on the desk. Suddenly, the price has gone up by a couple thousand dollars, due to “add-ons,” such as warranties or maintenance plans.
Playing with the Numbers
This can happen on either end. It’s not unusual for a car dealer to inflate the price of a new car by adding on charges for features that are already standard. On the other end, the dealer may incorrectly state the blue book or trade-in value of your car.
Selling a Used Car as New
If a car has been owned by someone else for a day or even an hour, it’s no longer a new car and cannot be sold as such. Watch out for dealers who will try to sell you a “new” car, when it’s actually one that was returned for a defect or for some other reason. It’s also not uncommon for a dealer to fail to disclose that a vehicle was salvaged and repaired after an automobile accident.
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or 917-494-5695 to set up an appointment.