Q: Do I have a case?
I purchased a used truck about 1.5 years ago from a dealer. When asked about prior damage if any the dealer told me there was only minor. The car fax report only shows minor as well. While I was under the truck checking the size of the spare tire I noticed there is frame damage on the left rear. I have reached out to the dealer to notify them as they never disclosed this. They are saying they didn’t know and the auction never disclosed to them. My main question is, is the dealer or auction or either of them responsible and do I have a case to pursue? The title is a clean title, not salvaged. It is financed through a bank. But I’ve seen it before when these dealers buy cars with known damage and never disclose it or submit it to insurance, then “fix” it and sell it. My main concern is the integrity of the frame and how the vehicle will hold up in a wreck. I have a medically complex toddler that is already fragile and this is the main transportation used.
Thanks for any advice.
A: Regardless of liability or lack thereof, your first step is to get a written repair estimate, then demand that the dealer pay it, and if they balk, say you're planning to take legal action. That may or may not work, but there's no downside to doing it. That said, whether the dealer is liable depends in large part on whether you bought it AS IS. When you buy AS IS, a failure to inspect for OBVIOUS defects is on you. A hidden defect might be a different story, but yours sounds like it's obvious upon taking a gander at the underside. If the auctioneer would have any liability, it would be only to the party who bought from them. All of the above is general info; to obtain legal advice on your specific situation, contact a lawyer in your area handling consumer law matters.
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