Clementon, NJ asked in Consumer Law for New Jersey

Q: I purchased a car from a dealership about 4 years ago. I went to trade in the car and found out the title is bad.

The carfax for the car states the title is clean. However, the autocheck report shows there is frame damage to the car and the title is branded, damage dated before I owned the car and confirmed from the auction that put that on the report that it is true. The dealership showed me the carfax before I purchased the car and it was obviously clean so I went ahead and purchased said vehicle. The dealership that sold me the car say they have no way of knowing about the damage and branded title if it's not on the carfax, however, on their website it shows they use autocheck. Im looking for help on how to resolve this issue because now I know my car is worth nothing and I still owe a good amount of money on it.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Melissa Totaro
Melissa Totaro
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • West Caldwell, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: To knowingly sell a vehicle that has frame damage and a branded title without disclosing that to the purchaser would be deceptive and unconscionable. Based on your question there are issues regarding whether the Autocheck report would have had that information on it 4 years ago when you purchased the vehicle, whether the dealership used Autocheck at that time, and what knowledge the dealer otherwise would have had, that all would have to be looked into, but you should contact a consumer law attorney. There are consumer protection statutes both state and federal that provide for both damages for the consumer and the payment of their attorneys fees if they prevail in a lawsuit against a merchant, so if you have a strong case a consumer law attorney may be willing to represent you on a contingency basis.

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