What are my rights regarding a fraudulent car fax report?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights regarding a fraudulent car fax report?

I bought my car 2 years ago and was recently trying to trade it in as a down

payment on a new car. However, it appears that when purchasing my car I I was given a fraudulent car fax that reported no accidents. When trying to sell, they ran my car fax, and there was actually 2 accidents reported, 1 of them being a year before I purchased it and the other being 5 months before. I was wondering if there is anything that can be done now or am I just wasting my time? I have all the original paperwork and the new car fax paperwork.

Asked on May 26, 2018 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF you can show that that the dealership that sold you your car knew that the report they shared with you was false, you could establish a  fraud case against them, which could enable you to recover monetary compensation, such as the difference in value between your car with the accidents and the value it would have if there were no accidents (i.e. the additional value you should have had and paid for). But you have to show that they knowingly or deliberately gave you bad information: if the report they received from CarFax (or whomever provided it) itself was incorrect at the time, the dealership did not wrong and is not liable: fraud is based on a knowing or intentional lie or misrepresentation. Giving you information they believed to be true is not fraud.
That's one hurdle: having to prove that they deliberately lied to you. Another is the statute of limitations (SOL) or time within which you must start your lawsuit. If you don't start your suit within the SOL, you cannot bring a legal claim. In your state (PA), the SOL for fraud is only 2 years from when the alleged fraud happened, so you may be out of time or at least fast running out of time, depending on exactly when you bought your car.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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