Articles Posted in Car Dealership Complaints

Opening Statement

I just updated my webpage to include an example of an opening statement in a trial against the car dealership for selling a car, used car with prior damage. Ordinarily, this takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes depending on how the court schedules the opening statements. This is the usual length of the trial in case which might last 3 or 4 days. Defense opening statement which goes 2nd at trial, would also be about 15 to 20 minutes.

This is an example of an opening statement, and a trial, where the plaintiff purchased the vehicle and the dealer told him the car was not in an accident. The plaintiff later discovered that the car was in an accident. This is an example of what I might tell the jury in a similar or substantially similar case. Each case is completely different but this auto fraud case is a bit of the standard fact pattern and has many common factors across cases I have handled.

Guaranteed Credit Approval

Consumer Fraud and False Advertising:

Guaranteed Credit Approval. Financing Guaranteed. We finance Anyone. We will Get it Done.

Guarantee Credit Approval.  Be wary and get help if you see this advertisement

You hear those advertisements all the time on the radio and TV. Credit Guaranteed. All you need is a job and pay stub. Rebuild your credit. Any deal.
There is no such thing as guaranteed credit. There is no such thing as guaranteed credit approval. Each and every transaction must be reviewed by a bank or lending source. The bank or the lending source make a decision to extend credit based on the credit score, your job and any one of numerous other items that might be applicable to the bank’s lending standards.

So when you hear the aforementioned promises or representations that there is guaranteed credit approval and all you need is a job or some type of pay stub this is quite frankly more likely than not false. Does it make sense that the bank would lend you money when you are not qualified to borrow the money. Absolutely not. Banks have lending standards. They do not lend money to anybody.

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On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed the Farm Bill of 2014 into law. Section 7606 of the act defines industrial hemp as distinct and authorizes institutions of higher education or State departments of agriculture in states where hemp is legal to grow hemp for research or agricultural pilot programs.

Source: Vote Hemp: Information: Resources: 2014 Farm Bill – Section 7606


On a somewhat regular basis the Federal Trade Commission also known as the FTC provides a list of information that they have been compiling. Specifically, they provided a list of the top ten consumer complaints according to complaints that they have received from consumers.

As can be seen, debt collection identity thefts are the top two complaints. These are complaints that consumers have complained about to the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission then will take these complaints and make investigations. Sometimes the Federal Trade Commission will then file lawsuits and issue orders and sometimes they do not. The Federal Trade Commission has a website contained therein the numerous investigations complaints which they are taken and pursued under the authority of the federal government. Obviously, debt collectors are one of their top targets. The issues with debt collectors are frequently harassing and deceptive collecting techniques.

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A New Jersey jury on Thursday awarded $2.9 million to a class of surgical technology students who alleged Star Career Academy misrepresented their career prospects in the wake of a 2012 law that imposed stricter accreditation standards on the profession.

Source: NJ Jury Renders $2.9M Verdict Against School In Fraud Case – Law360






The lack of a contractual relationship or privity does not automatically defeat a the plaintiff’s claim. The determination of whether a duty exists is generally considered a matter of law to be decided by the court. Carvalho v. Toll Bros. and Developers, supra, 143 N.J. at 572; S.P. v. Collier High School, 319 N.J.Super. 452, 467,(App.Div.1999). The assessment of fairness and policy “involves identifying, weighing, and balancing several factors-the relationship of the parties, the nature of the attendant risk, the opportunity and ability to exercise care, and the public interest in the proposed solution” Zielinsky v. Professional Appraisals 326 N.J.Super 219 (App.Div 1999).
There is no privity requirement to maintain a cause of action under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In Alloway v. General Marine Ind., 149 N.J. 620 (1997), the Supreme Court held that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act does not require privity to maintain a cause of action. In Alloway, the plaintiff purchased a defective boat, which was built by the (manufacturer) defendant. The plaintiff instituted suit against the manufacturer and other defendants for tort (negligence) and warranty claims. The Court dismissed the tort claims and permitted the plaintiff to proceed on the warranty claims, holding that privity was required for tort claims, but not for warranty type claims. The underpinnings of the decision were that the plaintiff had statutory avenues of remedy including, but not limited to, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to address economic injuries to property. Id. at 639 – 640. The Court specifically left unanswered whether or not tort or contract law applies to a product that poses a risk of causing personal injuries or property damage, but has caused only economic loss to the product itself.
The trend in the application of the Consumer Fraud Act has been to expand liability to those “upstream, in the chain of commerce,” including but not limited to remote suppliers of component parts whose products are passed on to a buyer and its representations are made to, or intended to be conveyed to the ultimate purchaser. Perth Amboy Iron Works v. Amhouse, 226 N.J. Super 200, 211 (App. Div. 1998).

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Car Salesman Talk
On or about March 11, 2011, the plaintiff listened to an advertisement on 1010 WINS Radio from XXX indicating that it was 30% off of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, MSRP or $5,000 cash back on all of their new vehicles. (The bait) After hearing the ad with the reliance thereon, the plaintiff proceeded to the dealership and signed various documentations indicating that he would be acquiring a new vehicle from XXX at the interest rate of 3.9%. The plaintiff signed various documents and left the dealership. The price was over the MSRP by about 25% and once the “fictitious discount” is factored in the real price is %50 to %100 above the advertised price. (MSRP about $21,000 purchase price about $26,000) The plaintiff was not told verbally by any individuals that the contract was not final, subject to approval or otherwise not a completed transaction. The only documents in the plaintiff’s possession when he left the dealership indicated that the transaction was final. Plaintiff is unsure as to exactly what documents the dealership has in their possession pertaining to the ‘temporary’ approval of the transaction. However, the plaintiff was told, left with documents indicating the transaction was final. (Plaintiff reserves the right to amend the pleadings to allege that the advertisement was deceptive upon receipt of same from dealer or the radio station)

After approximately two weeks, the plaintiff received a call back from a representative of the dealership who the plaintiff believes was the finance manager that indicated that there was a mistake in the paperwork and that the plaintiff cannot get his tags without returning to the dealership. (Get him back to the dealer so we can do “The switch”) (Charge him too much for financing and charge too much for the car) Thereafter, the plaintiff returned to the dealership, sat down with the individual whom he believed was the finance manager and told the plaintiff that he had to sign a separate set of paperwork all of which was backdated (violated TILA) to the original specific date of the transaction. (The dealer transgressions just continue and continue) The representative of the dealership said this is the only way the plaintiff could get financed that if the plaintiff did not have the life, health and other type of insurance, the interest rate will be 5.9% rather than the 4.9% which was on the second set of documents and certainly above the 3.9% for which the plaintiff allegedly received an approval and had signed the documentation. The dealer was in possession of the plaintiff trade at this time or they had sold it.

1. When did this defendant acquire the subject vehicle?

2. While the vehicle was in the possession of the defendant was the car ever damaged, if so explain how, the amount of damage and how it was fixed, and by whom.

3. Did this defendant ever inspect the vehicle, if so when, why, and the results?

4. Describe all service performed in this car and attach all repair orders
5. List all conversation between the parties and all testimony you will use at the trial
6. List all pre delivery services and products purchased by the plaintiff, list price and documents indicating that the plaintiff agreed to purchase the product and all conversations supporting the claim that plaintiff agreed to purchase the product or service.

7. Was the plaintiff ever told that the car had not been in an accident, and of so by whom?
8. How much money was forwarded to the MFGR to have the car certified?

9. List each employee who was involved in any way with this transaction
10. Explain the certification process and attach all documents supporting same
11. List selling prices for vehicles set forth in demand for documents number 12 .
12. Who was the used car manager who inspected the plaintiff’s vehicle and where is his report?

13. When the dealership acquired the plaintiff’s car did they own a paint thickness meter and if so was it used on the plaintiff’s vehicle?

14. If not why?
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