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CONSUMER PROTECTION

Lawsuit Against Car Dealer In New Jersey

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is your best weapon to combat a car dealer’s fraud

Can I sue a car dealer for misrepresenting a vehicle? Yes, if the salesman misrepresented a material aspect of the vehicle or the vehicle’s history (i.e. no accidents) you can use this misrepresentation in your lawsuit against the dealer and their insurance company. In the lawsuit, you may not even have to prove that the salesman intended to mislead you. As long as you relied upon the misrepresentation to your detriment, the misrepresentation will likely be a material aspect of the sale.

In a lawsuit against a New Jersey car dealer, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act will be the tip of the spear to combat the dealer’s misconduct. The New Jersey CFA is one of the strongest in the nation.

 

The New Jersey legislature passed the Consumer Fraud Act to discourage dealer’s from taking advantage of their customers. The law imposes tough penalties on New Jersey car dealers who violate the CFA provisions and allows for triple damages for consumers who are affected.

             

The Consumer Fraud Act defines fraud as “any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or the knowing, concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise.” N.J.S.A. 56:8-2.

Examples of Dealership Misconduct:

Dealer lied about the financing

Many times, dealers will take a deposit, then later tell you the financing “fell through” and request a higher down payment or demand a higher overall vehicle price. This is a bait and switch tactic and it is prohibited under the Consumer Fraud Act.

 

Dealer lied about the accident history of car

Under New Jersey law, a New Jersey car dealer is required to disclose to a buyer, and in its advertisements, whether a vehicle sustained prior damage totaling more than $1000.00 in repairs. Failure to disclose this information constitutes a CFA violation.

Dealer lied about the mechanical condition of the car

The purchase of an automobile is one of the most important investments you will make. The need for safety and well-being of your passengers cannot be overstated. As such, the mechanical condition of the car is one of the most important aspects when deciding which vehicle to purchase.

When a car dealer misrepresents the vehicles condition, that is a material aspect of the purchase, and a material misrepresentation is illegal under the law. For example, a dealer may lie about a vehicle’s recall status, or misrepresent that the recalls were fixed. Dealers may also lie about the number of prior owners, or lie about the mechanical condition of the car – all of which constitute fraud.

Dealer did not disclose car’s lemon history or lemon buyback

Dealers are required to disclose an indication on a vehicle’s title history. Indications include whether the vehicle was repurchased by the manufacturer for being a lemon. Failures to disclose whether the vehicle was a lemon is a violation of the CFA.

Dealer sold a damaged car and lied about the damage

Dealer lied about the warranty

Dealer lied about the advertised price

In addition to a claim for fraud under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, when a dealer charges more than the advertised price for a vehicle, consumers can sue the dealer under the New Jersey Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act. This law prohibits New Jersey car dealers from giving or displaying notices that contain a provision that violate clearly established rights of Plaintiff or responsibilities of Defendants, as established by State or Federal law. N.J.S.A. 56:12-15.

Dealer used bait and switch tactics in the sale

Bait and switch tactics are prohibited in New Jersey. What is bait and switch? Bait and switch occurs where the car dealer advertises the price of a vehicle with no intention to sell the car at the advertised price. Or the dealer takes a deposit on the advertised price, then later tells the consumer that the financing “fell through” and the consumer will have to pay a higher price for the vehicle. Both are prohibited by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

Dealer gave you a Carfax that misled you

Dealer gave you a Carfax that did not disclose a prior accident

To read more about the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, please click the link below:

https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Statutes/Consumer-Fraud-Act.pdf

If you are the victim of a New Jersey car dealer's fraud, contact Attorney Michael F. Niznik for a free consultation at 267-589-0601 or via email at Michael@NiznikLaw.com

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