A year ago last February, the FDA sent out the first of numerous warning letters to 18 companies marketing cannabidiol (CBD) products, regarding claims they were making about their products, in the hopes of protecting an unwitting and unknowing public, many naive to what CBD actually is. The letters that the companies received allege that […]
The plaintiff, residing in Edison, New Jersey, says by way of complaint against the defendants as follows:
1. On or about September 28, 2013, the defendant, Auto Group, of East Brunswick, was a corporation licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey.
2. On or about that date, the defendant, MANUFACTURER, was also a corporation licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey.
3. On or about that date, the plaintiff acquired a used 2011 Acura MDX black, with 30,711 miles.
4. The vehicle was represented as a certified pre-owned vehicle and of higher quality than other certified pre-owned vehicles.
5. It was also specifically represented that the vehicle was not involved in any prior automobile accidents. The literature indicating that the vehicle was of higher quality and not in a prior automobile accident were both from the manufacturer and/or the selling dealer indicating that the vehicle was of higher quality than other used vehicles. The selling dealer specifically stated that the vehicle had not been in a prior automobile accident.
6. The plaintiff signed various documents including a retail installment sales contract and a buyer’s order to acquire the vehicle which the purchase price was $30,500.
7. As part of the transaction, the defendant dealership and/or the manufacturer issued a certified pre-owned warranty which the plaintiff paid a dollar amount for which is not disclosed in the appropriate paperwork. Continue reading ›
Buying a Car is Awful Because… Tell me…
I have represented over a thousand people and have purchased many cars myself. Almost every experience related to me is the same. It sucked. The reasons are different BUT the results are the same. It sucked!! Take a look! Here too about the tricks.
I would describe it as follows:
In New Jersey the legislature has partially codified the aforementioned principles in N.J.S.A. 56:8-68, which states that it is an unlawful practice for a used car dealer to (a) misrepresent the mechanical condition of a used vehicle; (b) to fail to disclose, prior to sale, any material defect in the mechanical condition of the used motor vehicle which is known to the seller; (c) to represent a used motor vehicle, or any component thereof, is free from material defects in its mechanical condition at the time of sale, unless the dealer has a reasonable basis for the representation at the time sale is made. It is arguable that these “disclosure” requirements would be required under any “common law” analysis, which predated this Statute. Nonetheless, the creation reinforces the purposes advanced by the Consumer Fraud Act, trebling damages and providing for the award of attorney fees.
The Administrative Code also contains extensive regulation of dealership conduct. The failure to disclose that the motor vehicle had been previously damaged and that substantial repair or body work has been performed on it when such prior repair or body work is known or should have been known by the advertiser; substantial repair or body work shall mean repair or body work having a retail value of $1,000 or more. N.J.A.C. 13:45A-26A.7. Advertisement is defined by the Consumer Fraud Act as the attempt directly or indirectly by publication, dissemination, solicitation, endorsement or circulation or in any other way to induce directly or indirectly any person to enter or not enter into any obligation or acquire any title or interest in any merchandise or to increase the consumption thereof or to make any loan. N.J.S.A. 56:8-1(a). Again, this definition of “Unlawful Practice” would arguably exist under the Common Law principles set forth above.
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is to be Watered Down, significantly.
New Jersey has one of the strongest Consumer Fraud Acts in the United States.
There is pending legislation to change the Consumer Fraud Act and make it easier to avoid civil penalties for fraud.
Amy Handlin and John McKeon are sponsoring an anti-consumer bill that would change the business landscape in New Jersey.
A key provision of the new New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act would exempt out of state transactions. This means the following: if someone in New Jersey commits consumer fraud upon a non-resident (living in NY, PA or CT) there are no consequences.
“a. apply only to transactions that take place in the State”
Car Salesmen and Dealerships to be Protected with Proposed Changes in Consumer Fraud Act.
Amy Handlin and Jack McKeon have sponsored and introduced ANTI-CONSUMER legislation to reduce consumer rights and protect car dealerships.
The changes in the Consumer Fraud Act would exempt or limit liability against businesses that are already regulated, such as car dealerships. It would also limit liability for consumers who consummate out-of-state transactions. This arguably contradicts other legislation that has been introduced to increase liability for those committing consumer fraud.
DAMAGED AND FRAME-DAMAGED CARS
It is a common question that is asked frequently: does a seller of a motor vehicle or an automobile have the obligation to disclose that the vehicle was damaged even slightly, less than frame damage? Is there a separate obligation based on the nature and extent of the damage? Is it relevant that there was frame damage? The New Jersey law in the subject is mostly a matter of common sense. If the seller of an automobile or vehicle knows that a vehicle was damaged, he has the obligation to make material disclosures to the person to whom he is selling the car if he thinks that the disclosure of the information would make a difference in the purchasing decision. This is what makes a material disclosure relevant.
There are certain exceptions to this rule for the disclosure of damages on damaged cars where the legislator has promulgated or passed various laws requiring certain disclosures. As an example, New Jersey law requires disclosure of advertised automobiles where there is damage in excess of $1,000. This number varies by state. Nonetheless, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act has taken the more ethical approach and applied it to the sale of goods. The law in the State of New Jersey is no longer buyer beware but rather seller beware. Therefore, the seller of an automobile has the obligation to make sure that all representations pertaining to the sale of specific automobile are correct. As an example, if the seller tells a buyer that a vehicle has not been damaged, has not been in an accident, is in good shape or makes certain representation as to the condition of the vehicle, he has an obligation to make sure that this representation is true and accurate. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act does not have any intent requirement for affirmative misrepresentations. This means that if a seller of an automobile says the vehicle has not been damaged or has not been in an accident and ultimately it turns out that the vehicle was in an accident despite the seller of the automobile not being aware of same, there is liability under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act which applies triple damages, attorney fees and costs.
CAR DEALERSHIP SELLS CAR TO TWO BLIND PEOPLE.
This is not a joke. It is true.
The names will be withheld until suit is filed BUT today I saw, possibly, the worst case in the many years that I have been doing this type of work.
Both of my clients are legally blind, the primary obligor and the cosigner. They do not even have a driver’s license, nor are they permitted to drive. The dealership even got the car registered and insured. The customer was at the dealership with his cane and his glasses. When they told me the story it was hard to believe. They are both legally blind.
To make matters even worse, the car is a mess. It looks like it was in a prior accident with a different hood and various parts are melted on the interior of the car. They were told the car had only one prior owner, when in fact it had two.
The following are the causes of action (theories of liability) against the dealer and/or the lender:
• Consumer Fraud-deceptive conduct. Cox v. Sears.
• Fraud • Breach of contract • Breach of good faith and fair dealings. Wilson v. Hess
• Revocation. Cuesta v. Classic
• Negligence • Discrimination against disabled persons, the blind. Law against discrimination.
• Declaratory relief that the contract is void ab initio (from the beginning)
Continue reading ›