More Complaints About CarShop as Used Car Sales Increase
CarShop is a used car retailer with dealerships in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the U.S., as well as locations in the U.K. CarShop was previously known as CarSense in the U.S., but was acquired by the Penske Automotive Group in 2016, and rebranded globally as CarShop in March 2021. Penske Automotive now has 6 CarShop locations in the U.S. and 11 CarShop locations in the U.K.
CarShop proclaims itself to be “the original no-haggle, no-hassle used car superstore.” It advertises no-negotiation prices on used vehicles, rigorous inspections, pre-certification, reliable warranties, and follow-up servicing. On its pre-certified CarShop Certified vehicles, CarShop offers a 6-month/6,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a lifetime engine guarantee. To qualify for this certification, CarShop says vehicles must be under 4 years or 50,000 miles old, and have passed a full inspection by ASE-certified technicians.
Used car sales are booming as new car lots are empty
CarShop and other used car dealers have seen an increase in business in recent months as buyers cannot find the new cars that they want. Inventory on car lots is at an historic low. Some car dealer lots have been left near empty due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a global semiconductor chip shortage, and the lack of inventory is expected to continue through 2021.
In the earlier days of the pandemic, new car production was affected by manufacturing shutdowns, travel restrictions, and global supply chain difficulties. In April 2020, 93% of all US auto manufacturing was shut down. Across the country and the world, many auto manufacturing plants or specific model lines were closed temporarily because of government mandates, COVID caution, or difficulty obtaining parts. These shutdowns affected the overall number of new cars coming off the assembly line, and delayed the release of many new models, such as the Nissan Frontier, the Toyota Sienna, and the Acura MDX.
As the country emerges from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and restrictions loosen, the car industry is dealing with another problem – a massive worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips. Semiconductor chips are used in the manufacturing of anything from cars to laptops to household appliances. The current shortage of these chips has been caused by a number of pandemic and non-pandemic factors. COVID forced shutdowns and supply chain issues, and also drove huge demand for laptops, home computers, and cloud-based services, as people worked and schooled remotely. Automakers canceled chip orders when they were forced to pause production early in the pandemic, and when they restarted production, they had lost their place in line to computing and other companies. Other unexpected events also affected chip production – winter storms in Texas, an earthquake in Japan, and typhoons in Taiwan. Almost every automaker has been affected, and it is expected that the global auto industry will produce 1.5 million to five million fewer vehicles than forecast for 2021. The chip shortage has caused automakers to once again shut down production lines and delay manufacturing of current and new models, such as the new model Ford F-150 and the much anticipated Ford Bronco.
CarShop is cashing in on the demand for used cars, however there are many reports of unsatisfied CarShop customers. The problems seem to begin at the very point of sale, where customers have encountered dishonest salespeople and finance staff. Multiple customers have complained about CarShop running unauthorized credit checks, changing agreed amounts in the contract, and otherwise preparing sale and loan documentation that does not match the deal made. There are also complaints of CarShop salespeople misrepresenting vehicles, including outright lying about a vehicle’s accident history.
When CarShop customers drive a vehicle off the lot, the problems continue. Despite the CarShop assurance that pre-certified vehicles have been fully and rigorously inspected by ASE-certified technicians, numerous CarShop customers have complained about immediate problems that should have been noticed during an inspection. Seatbelt and airbag warning lights coming on, tires with no tread, worn brake pads, defective heaters are all among the problems that CarShop customers have reported.
If a CarShop customer does have problems with their car, they of course turn to the CarShop 6month/6,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. There again they meet with difficulties. It appears that once CarShop have gotten their sale, they are done. CarShop customers have complained about receiving no call backs to repeated requests for repairs, and that if they do get a service appointment, CarShop will deny that there is a problem or that it is covered under the warranty. Customers have faced long delays and large repair bills trying to fix problems that they never should have had in the first place.
What are your rights?
Dissatisfied CarShop customers do not have to be at the mercy of dishonest salespeople or unresponsive service technicians. State and federal laws protect consumers from dishonest sales practices and from being stuck with a problem vehicle.
State lemon laws protect buyers of defective vehicles aka “lemons.” If you have bought a vehicle from CarShop that you think is defective, you may be able to get compensation, a replacement vehicle, or even a buyback, depending on your individual case. Lemon laws are different in each state. State lemon law will describe what vehicles are covered, how long you are protected after you bought your vehicle, the repairs that a dealer can attempt, and what you are entitled to. Our FAQs for Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where CarShop currently has locations, are a helpful starting point but you should get comprehensive legal advice to determine your rights in your particular state.
Some state lemon laws do not apply to used cars, such as those sold by CarShop. In Pennsylvania, lemon laws do not apply to used cars, while New Jersey does have a specific used car lemon law. As lemon laws are different in each state, it is advisable to get an attorney to advise you on your rights if you think you have purchased a CarShop lemon. Even in a state where lemon laws do not cover used cars, you still have rights under other state and federal laws.
Other state laws also protect CarShop customers, such as laws protecting consumers from breach of warranty or from fraudulent or deceptive practices. When you buy a car from CarShop, the law automatically gives you the protection of very basic warranties that the vehicle is as described and fit for its purpose. In addition, you may have the protection of the CarShop Certified bumper-to-bumper warranty, or any additional warranty that you have purchased. If you have been the victim of dealer fraud, there are even more courses of action open to you.
At the federal level, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers of any goods (including vehicles.) It enforces consumer warranties, and gives consumers a right to compensation if they are stuck with a defective vehicle that has not been repaired as it should be under the vehicle warranty.
Did you buy a CarShop lemon?
CarShop complaints are rampant. CarShop customers are struggling to get responses and repairs for their CarShop lemons. However, CarShop customers have rights and protections under the law, whether they have bought a CarShop lemon, are trying to enforce the CarShop Certified warranty, or have been a victim of dealer fraud. If you are a dissatisfied CarShop customer, contact one of our experienced team at Timothy Abeel & Associates for a free case review to find out what rights you have where you are. We can help you negotiate with CarShop, and get you the compensation you deserve.