Los Angeles, CA asked in Car Accidents, Consumer Law and Small Claims for California

Q: Can I make a small claim on a used car fraud?

In December 2018 I purchased a used 2016 Honda pilot from a Toyota dealership, which I am currently financing. I asked on three seperate occasions, before signing any paperwork, if the car had been in any previous accidents and was told repeatedly that the car has NOT been in any accidents and is in perfect condition. Later, I would hear a slight screech when shifting the transmission or braking. I decided to trade the car at a Subaru dealership for a new Subaru. However, there I was informed that the car had in fact been in an accident in 2015 that required the hood to be repaired and repainted which is hurting my trade in value. I am seeking legal advice if Toyota were to deny giving me a full refund for the car.

4 Lawyer Answers
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: yes, you can make small claims complaint and you can also contact local police.

they will probably say it is civil but you would argue it is fraud.

you can also contact your legislative members for assistance if the police won't assist you........including city council, congressman, state electeds etc.

you can also complain on Yelp

1 user found this answer helpful

Barak J Berlin
Barak J Berlin
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Lake Elsinore, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: While you can file a small claims case on this issue, you may have a case which an attorney can assist you with. Our firm handles auto fraud and we would be glad to review your case. Additionally, you can search the "Find an Attorney" section on NACA (https://www.consumeradvocates.org/) for other attorneys who handle auto fraud. For a free consultation, email all of your purchase documents to me at Barak@CaLemons.com along with a summary of what happened when you purchased the car and the issues you have been having.

1 user found this answer helpful

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Fraud requires an intentional misrepresentation. What evidence do you have that the Toyota dealership knew it was lying to you?

If you sue, you will need to hire a certified auto appraiser to give a valuation of your vehicle as it is, versus a similar vehicle without a repaired hood. You will probably find that the difference isn't as great as Subaru is telling you.

Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Los Altos, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The thing to do is to find out just how bad this accident was?

If it's a thousand or two and no safety issues involved, yes, small claims is likely your best bet. IF it's a serious issue (have a body shop opine on this) then you may be in a position to hire counsel to help get the whole thing unwound!

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.