What are y rights if I purchased a vehicle brand new off the lot but have now found out that it has been damaged and repaired?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are y rights if I purchased a vehicle brand new off the lot but have now found out that it has been damaged and repaired?

I was having my vehicle appraised. I purchased it 4 months ago and I was just today told that the passenger side door had been damaged and repaired. I was never told this when buying. The appraisal company informed me that this will depreciate the re-sale value quite a bit. I notified the dealership and they want me to bring it in but I would like to know where I stand legally before doing so.

Asked on May 3, 2017 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Assuming--as is likely a save assumption--that the dealership knew about this, then the failure to disclose this damage and repair would constitute fraud: a knowing or intentional misrepresentation of a material (important) fact, made to induce or cause you to buy the car, and upon which misreprsentation you reasonably relied (no reason you shouldn't have trusted the dealership). Fraud can provide a basis to rescind a sale (return car, get money, possibly less the value of using it for 4 months, back) or receive monetary compensation (such as the difference between what you paid and what it's worth). Based on what you write, you seem to have good legal grounds on your favor; while actually suing is rarely in anyone's best interest, if you were to sue, you'd likely win. That can give you leverage to bargain for a car exchange or for other conscessions, like free service for the car's life, some amount of money back, etc.

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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