An automobile is among the most expensive items a person will purchase. When it comes to purchasing a used car, or truck, they purchaser faces the challenge of knowing whether they can trust the condition of the vehicle as advertised. The salesperson may commit fraud by tricking, misinforming, or confusing the consumer purchaser in regards to the condition of the vehicle, the price, or the amenities of the vehicle. In the big picture, auto fraud continues to be a huge problem in the United States and here in Rochester, York. Many New Yorkers are blind to the severity of this particular crime. Yet, in actuality, the crime of auto fraud costs New Yorkers millions of dollars annually.
Know your Rights when Faced with Auto Fraud
It is critical that an automobile purchaser knows and understands his rights to prevent fraud. A very common form of auto fraud comes in the form of phony fees and significant overcharges. The law makes clear that every consumer is entitled to an explanation of every cost associated with the purchase. Basically, the seller of the vehicle, at the time of the sale, must provide a contract that lists in detail the total cost of the vehicle and the rate of interest.
The Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) is a United States federal law designed to promote the informed use of consumer credit, by requiring disclosures about the terms and cost to standardize the way in which the costs associated with borrowing are calculated and disclosed. TILA protects consumers by ensuring accurate disclosures of all costs and fees in financed transactions, such as automobile purchases. Consumers should be aware of TILA and use it as it holds salespeople of automobiles accountable for misconduct in the sale.
Another common form of auto fraud that occurs in purchasing an automobile regards the vehicle condition or history of the vehicle. For instance, auto fraud may occur when the salesperson indicates that the car has never been involved in an accident, when in fact it has. The purchaser, as a result, may end up spending much more for the car than what it is actually worth. There are various other forms of fraud that occur in the process of purchasing an automobile: (i) warranty fraud, (ii) illegal repossession; and (iii) odometer tampering.
The Lemon Law
A Lemon is an automobile that continues to function defectively no matter how many times it is repaired. Yet, the defect must impair the product’s use, safety or value. The Used Car Lemon law provides a legal remedy for consumers who are buyers or lessees of used cars that turn out to be lemons. The law requires dealers to give consumers a written warranty. Under this warranty, dealers must repair, for free, any and all defects in the covered parts. If the dealer is unable to repair the car after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer is entitled to a complete refund.
Take Action Now
If you live in Rochester, NY, and believe you were deceived in the purchase, lease or finance of your automobile and have been a victim of auto fraud, contact one of the attorneys at The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC, at (877) 236-7366. These attorneys can help you figure out what specific rights you have given your particular circumstances, and they can guide you through a lawsuit should you choose to file one.