If the dealer showed me a fake car history report when I bought my car, can I go after the dealer to recoup this money?

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If the dealer showed me a fake car history report when I bought my car, can I go after the dealer to recoup this money?

The wife and I bought a car 1 1/2 years ago. The dealer told us it was a clean with no accidents and then showed us a clean report. Now we need a vehicle with a third row seating. When ww went to trade it in, we found out that our car had in fact been in a car accident 4 years ago. So now no one will give us even close to trade in value; we are going to lose about $4k. Is there anything that we can do to get that money back or at least prevent this from happening to others?

Asked on April 16, 2012 under General Practice, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Fraud is the knowing misrepresentation of some material fact, made to induce another to engage in some course of action or enter into a transaction, and on which the  other person does reasonably rely in entering into the transaction or course of action. Basically, fraud is when someone intentionally lies to you about something important, to get you to do something. If fraud were committed, the party which was defrauded could sue for monetary compensation, such as the difference in value between what they thought they were getting or paid for, and what they actually got; moreover, consummer fraud often entitles the defrauded party to recover legal fees or additonal compensation as well.

The key issue then is whether the dealer knew the report was false--which would likely be fraud--or whether  the dealer itself was deceived or made an honest mistake--which would not be fraud. If you feel you were or may have been defrauded, given that there seems to be $4k at stake, it would be worthwhile to consult with an attorney to explore bringing a lawsuit.


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