Dealer Fraud: New Dealer Returns

Feb 6, 2020

Buying or leasing a car should be a straightforward experience,however things can become complicated when auto dealers engage in fraudulent activities or make misrepresentations to car buyers. Although state and federal laws require dealers to provide information about the value of a vehicle, once common scam involves new dealer return fraud.

At Timothy Abeel & Associates, P.C., we routinely handle auto dealer fraud cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We are well versed in consumer fraud laws and have a proven track record of holding negligent auto dealers accountable and protecting the rights of our clients. If you have been the victim of auto dealer fraud, you may be entitled to significant compensation.

What is new dealer return fraud?

New dealer returns occur when an auto dealer misrepresents that a vehicle is new, when it has actually been returned to the dealership because of a defect or persistent mechanical problem.

This is a form of affirmative misrepresentation that is meant to mislead a consumer. Other types of affirmative misrepresentation include bait and switch advertising, selling a car as new when it has been used, odometer tampering, or labeling a vehicle “certified pre-owned” when the manufacturer has not made such an endorsement.

In any event, consumers who have relied on a false or misleading claim have powerful legal recourse to recover damages by pursuing a lawsuit against the auto dealer based on fraudulent misrepresentation or negligent misrepresentation.

What is fraudulent misrepresentation?

In order to have a valid claim for fraudulent misrepresentation, it is necessary to show that the dealer knowingly or recklessly made the representation with the intention that the consumer would rely on it. Additionally, the consumer must have relied on the representation and sustained damages directly as a result of the false misrepresentation.

What is negligent misrepresentation?

Unlike fraudulent misrepresentation, proving a negligent misrepresentation claim does not require showing that the dealer actually knew the representation was false at the time it was made. Instead, it is only necessary to demonstrate that dealer made the representation with a reckless disregard for the truth, or should have known that the representation was false.

How to Avoid New Dealer Return Fraud

Although consumers are often at a disadvantage against auto dealers, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid being the victim of a new dealer return scam. It is important to do your homework when looking for a new car and researching dealerships. A telltale sign of new dealer fraud is to check the odometer for excessive mileage on what should be a new car, albeit new dealer fraud is often linked to another scam, odometer rollback. In any event, if you have purchased a defective vehicle that was sold as new after being returned to the dealer, having the advice and counsel of an experienced consumer law attorney is invaluable.

Why You Should Call Timothy Abeel & Associates for Your Auto Dealer Fraud Claim

If you have been the victim of new dealer fraud in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, our consumer law attorneys will guide you through the legal process and aggressively fight for your rights. We have extensive experience successfully pursuing lawsuits against auto dealers for fraudulent or negligent representation.

Before filing a lawsuit, our legal team may contact the dealer to demand that the problem be resolved, such as by replacing the vehicle. If the dealer refuses to cooperate, we will leverage our knowledge and skill to pursue a lawsuit on your behalf. By conducting an extensive investigation, we will work to build a successful claim. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover damages up to three times the amount of your actual losses, as well as reasonable attorneys fees and costs. Moreover, you will not pay any attorneys fees unless your claim is successful.

At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we believe that consumers have a right to be treated fairly and auto dealers who engage in deceptive and unlawful practices must be held accountable. We are knowledgeable in all aspects of consumer law and have a well deserved reputation for enforcing our clients’ rights. If you or someone you know has been the victim of new dealer return fraud, call our office today for a free consultation or complete the contact form on our website.

Experiencing Similar Issues?

If your car was manufactured between 2018 and 2023 we may be able to help. Contact us for more information.