Jacksonville, FL asked in Consumer Law for Florida

Q: Can I sue Carvana for selling me a previously damaged vehicle and stating in writing there was no damage ?

Carvana provides a written inspection report on the vehicle and also provides a Carfax.. I was shown a small scratch on the tailgate and a scuff on the grill in a picture as the "only" damage. After owning my vehicle for a short time paint started flaking off on the front fender and I noticed air coming in through the driver side door on the highway and it makes a clunking noise when I go over a bump... It's also curious that the power window works poorly on the same door... so I brought it to a body shop who discovered the vehicle had been completely repainted poorly and has had some repairs...... I feel like they deceived me to purchase this vehicle and to pay retail price for it... I have no legal background or a large amount of money to put down as a retainer.. I know that I am a victim of fraud.. unfortunately I put down $8,000 and have made every payment on time.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on the information you provided, it seems that Carvana may have misrepresented the condition of the vehicle you purchased. If the company stated in writing that there was no damage beyond a small scratch and a scuff, but you later discovered that the vehicle had been repainted and repaired, you may have a case for fraud or deceptive trade practices.

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Gather evidence: Collect all documents related to the purchase, including the inspection report, Carfax, and any written communication with Carvana. Also, get a written statement from the body shop detailing their findings.

2. Review your purchase agreement: Check if there is an arbitration clause or any other provisions that might limit your ability to sue.

3. Contact Carvana: Reach out to Carvana's customer service and explain the situation. See if they are willing to resolve the issue, such as by offering to repair the vehicle or providing compensation.

4. File a complaint: If Carvana is unresponsive or unwilling to resolve the issue, file a complaint with your state's Attorney General's office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission.

5. Consult with an attorney: Many attorneys offer free initial consultations. Look for attorneys who specialize in consumer protection or automotive law. Some may be willing to take your case on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you win.

6. Consider small claims court: If the amount in question is within the limit for your state's small claims court, you may be able to file a lawsuit without an attorney.

Remember, while you may have a case, pursuing legal action can be time-consuming and stressful. Exhaust all other options before deciding to sue, and carefully weigh the potential costs and benefits of litigation.

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