CONSUMER FRAUD ARBITRATION

This is part of a closing argument that was recently submitted to AAA, the American Arbitration Association.

The plaintiff has proved that the defendant has committed fraud/consumer fraud. The dealer advised the plaintiff that the car was without accident both verbally and in writing. The plaintiff proved (CARFAX) and it was admitted (Defense expert testimony) that the car was in a previous accident.

Defense only disputed severity of the accident. Defense expert and the General Manager, admitted that the dealer probably knew of the prior damage. He actually testified that the dealer did know that the car was in an accident. The car was inspected by used car manager, technicians, certification process (MFGR trained techs looking for accident damage) and elcometer use on car acquisitions. (THE USED CAR MANAGER NEVER TURNED UP TO TESTIFY) Even more significant is that this was a Manufacturer authorized dealer!!

Who would be in a better position to know that the car was not in FRONT LINE CONDITION? Nobody. The dealer’s claim or assertion of ignorance as to any prior damage is both insulting and incredulous. The Manufacturer representative testified that bondo should not be used on certified cars (not a quality repair) and any through panel penetration would render a car non-certifiable.

It is agreed that there is penetration resulting from a dent repair. The best the dealer can do with these facts is assert that they did not see it because the holes had plugs. As a threshold matter the “dealer knowledge” is irrelevant. The MFGR rep did not say dealer knowledge was important, JUST that this car could not be certified with the “holes in the car,” three in total. The through body penetration was the key factor. The bottom line here is that the dealer refused to step up to the plate and do the right thing. They sold a car that had been in an accident. When the plaintiff returned and then when counsel wrote a letter, they failed to repurchase the vehicle.

This was after the plaintiff had returned, complained about an accident and they inspected the car. What exactly were they looking at? Did they use the elcometer then? Did they offer to do the repairs that the defense expert admitted the car needed? NO, NOTHING. This was after they knew that the car was in an accident. I guess the “thread” of an assertion the dealer might raise is how do we know we really have bondo? Does this matter? The dealer sold a car and they did not know if it was bondo and chose to take the risk and sell it anyway. Maybe bondo, maybe primer? They are the experts; shouldn’t they know? They are experts in selling cars, not selling grapefruit! They cannot have it both ways. Superior quality of a dealer, certified used cars and trained staff, and then come and assert that we did not know? NOT REALLY. Where would the dealer place the blame? Please look at the expert’s report and look how much was wrong with the car. Did they know? Of course.