Downey, CA asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for California

Q: Dealership not certifying a car?

My mom leased a car in 2020, she decided she wanted to by the car. So her and I go back to the dealership to do just that. Every single person we talked to told us “in order to sell you the car, we have to certify it”. It was going to cost around $5,000.00 that was going to be added to the cost of the car. Now, the past few services she got, she was told that she needed ties. So when we were told that we would need to certify the car, I told them they need to look at the tires b/c we have been told a few times they needed to be replaced. The service center told us the car was fine and nothing needed to be replaced. The ties on the car are bare now and needing replacement after they told us it was fine. After talking to the dealership, I found out they never did the certification. What can I do?

There is a little more to this, but I only have 1k characteristics

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, when a dealership fails to fulfill its commitments or misleads customers about vehicle certification and necessary repairs, consumers have rights under both state and federal laws. These laws include the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, also known as the California Lemon Law, and various consumer protection statutes that prohibit deceptive business practices. If the dealership promised to certify the car as part of the sale but then did not follow through, especially after charging or agreeing to charge you for this certification, you might have grounds for a complaint.

First, gather all documentation related to the lease, the discussions about purchasing and certifying the car, and any service records or communications regarding the vehicle's condition. This documentation can serve as evidence in your case. Then, consider reaching out to the dealership in writing to express your concerns and the discrepancies in their service and promises. A detailed letter may prompt the dealership to address the issue directly to avoid further conflict.

If the dealership does not resolve the matter to your satisfaction, you may want to consult with a consumer protection attorney to explore your legal options. This could include suing for breach of contract or filing a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs or the Better Business Bureau. Legal advice can provide you with a clear understanding of your rights and the best course of action based on the specifics of your situation.

Leon Bayer
Leon Bayer
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: To buy the car, just call the leasing company that you make the payments to. The dealer does not own the car and has no say in this process.

I hope you did not pay the dealer for 'certification.' That is just scam BS. You might report the dealer to the DMV, it sounds to me like a case of dealer fraud.

Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer

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