Advice on pursuing complaint to Texas Attorney General-used car purchase

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May 31, 2018
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#21
NADA estimates between 27,600-29,425
KBB estimates between 24,458-26,493

I owe approximately 26,500. I'm not really interested in doing business with them. They have lost all my trust and unless they pay off the car, then I would maybe consider it.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#22
OK, so my two cents. Nothing that I can find, (again an attorney who specializes in this may know different) actually states that a dealer has to provide a piece of paper showing the vehicle history. Now, best practices would be for the dealer to have purchaser sign off on the paper showing the vehicle history, as that would protect the dealer and clearly that did not happen here.

Did you receive anything from the dealer stating that the vehicle had never been in an accident in writing? A report? Anything?

That being said, sespin1064 - this would put you whole in terms of damages. Your only real damage here in the not knowing is that your trade in would be less than what you would expect because of previous damage. Unless you are under a special circumstance where double or treble damages apply, you are not entitled to more even if you sue. So, if what you are wanting is a good deal on a trade, you have some leverage right now and the dealership appears to be making this situation correct. You also have no damages unless and until you trade in your car, as until then, your damages are completely speculative. Double and treble damages typically apply where you can show intent to defraud, intentional, knowing, etc. While the dealership may have known, did the sales person and the finance person, i.e. did they really deliberately set out to mislead you vs. just making a mistake or not dotting all the i's.

I would agree on reporting to the AG, as at least then there would be a history of complaints. But here is where I think you run into a conondrum. If you accept the dealer's deal and then complain, the AG is going to dismiss this and possibly not even add it, as it appears the dealer recognized a mistake and is taking steps to fix it. If you report them without taking the deal, the dealership may have to reimburse you some, but it is going to cost you time and grief (you don't get compensated for these things in a contracts case). And the dealership will likely then not give you the trade in deal that is on the table now.

It does not sound like you got a bad deal on the car based on the values above. You have driven the vehicle for 1.5 years and had use of it, and I am guessing it was worth more at the time of purchase, less miles, etc.

What was the trade-in estimate of your vehicle because of the damage? I know the trade in will be way less than what the NADA or the KBB states, but just for clarification purposes, it would be helpful to have the amounts with the damage and without the damage.
 
May 31, 2018
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#23
Did you receive anything from the dealer stating that the vehicle had never been in an accident in writing? A report? Anything?
Nope, nothing, zero, zilch. My thing is I put 5k down. I would have never done this knowing the car had extensive damage.

Clean trade in:
NADA: 27,600-29,425
KBB: 24,458-26,493
Trade in with damage to car: 22k
 
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Mar 14, 2018
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#24
Did you receive anything from the dealer stating that the vehicle had never been in an accident in writing? A report? Anything?
Nope, nothing, zero, zilch. My thing is I put 5k down. I would have never done this knowing the car had extensive damage.

Clean trade in:
NADA: 27,600-29,425
KBB: 24,458-26,493
Trade in with damage to car: 22k
This is a significant amount of money. You need to speak with a Texas consumer attorney to understand how strong your case is and then decide on a path forward. No one on a internet forum is going to understand Texas law enough to guide you.

Do not involve the Texas Attorney General (or take any other serious step) until you have spoken with your attorney. You may need that for negotiating leverage later in the process.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,027
12,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#25
Did you receive anything from the dealer stating that the vehicle had never been in an accident in writing? A report? Anything?
Nope, nothing, zero, zilch. My thing is I put 5k down. I would have never done this knowing the car had extensive damage.

Clean trade in:
NADA: 27,600-29,425
KBB: 24,458-26,493
Trade in with damage to car: 22k
What do you mean you put $5,000 down?
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
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#27
I just received a response from the Finance Director, and this is what he stated.

Good morning, I have gone through everything I cannot find and have no idea why you were not told it had an accident or why it was sold with frame damage. The only thing I can help with is having you come here to trade the vehicle in and will give you a appraisal without the damage to trade you out of it.

Is this sufficient? Should I just take this or try to go the legal route?
I think it would certainly cost less than going the legal route, and probably be a lot less hassle and aggravation for you.

I would strongly consider it, and this time be sure to run the report on the VIN prior to purchase. https://www.vehiclehistory.com offers a free service.
 
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technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
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#28
Did you receive anything from the dealer stating that the vehicle had never been in an accident in writing? A report? Anything?
Nope, nothing, zero, zilch. My thing is I put 5k down. I would have never done this knowing the car had extensive damage.

Clean trade in:
NADA: 27,600-29,425
KBB: 24,458-26,493
Trade in with damage to car: 22k
If they offer you NADA or high Blue Book rate that seems OK. I don't think the costs to purchase a car - title, reg, etc are super high most places. If they are you can fairly requst that, I think.
 
May 31, 2018
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#29
I've ran autocheck, carfax and this free VIN website and they all say the same thing. Damage to the right side. I don't want to trade in the car. His resolution is not sufficient.
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
1,999
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#30
I've ran autocheck, carfax and this free VIN website and they all say the same thing. Damage to the right side. I don't want to trade in the car. His resolution is not sufficient.
Fair enough. I was referring to running the VIN on any vehicle you purchase in future.

What you need to balance is the cost of the attorney you'll probably need, court fees, and chance of success. Is all that less than $4~$7K? You could always consult with an attorney for their opinon, too.

Personally I would not want to drive a car that had been damaged that badly. Frame damage can cause lifetime alignment issues, and the repaired frame is structurally weaker, which could lead to problems in the event of another accident. I'd be getting rid of it one way or another.

IMO you will not get them to fully pay off the car.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,027
12,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#31
I've ran autocheck, carfax and this free VIN website and they all say the same thing. Damage to the right side. I don't want to trade in the car. His resolution is not sufficient.
What do you want to do if you don’t want to trade it in? I assumed (apparently incorrectly) that you were buying another car which is why you went to another dealer.

What is the resolution YOU want? That’s what matters. If they are not going to do what you want, talk to an attorney and at the very least file a complaint with your Attorney General.

The dealership doesn’t seems to be particularly concerned about this but this can be a huge problem- how many unsafe cars are they putting on the road?
 
May 31, 2018
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#32
I'm going to consult with an attorney and go from there. Regardless, I dont want the car any longer than need be. Thank you to everyone that took the time to respond and give feedback.