Articles Tagged with carfax

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.

I just updated some content on bait and switch advertising.  Click here to review.

I litigated numerous cases this year on the bait and switch advertising. It was a case that I fought for over 2 years which was thrown out the trial court, for nap the Appellate Division and applied to the Supreme Court for review. Unfortunately, I was not successful in this case however, it was, in my opinion an issue which needed to the address. It dealt with dealership’s and the manufacturer advertising course which were not available for sale as they were already sold. My legal theory was that you cannot advertise a vehicle for sale if it was already sold. If he were advertising the vehicle which was already sold by very definition was bait and switch for false advertising and deceptive business practice.

In my opinion, the court did not address the key, relevant issues which were the defendant’s conduct. The court, at the trial level, held that the loss is hypothetical. The court at the appellate level held that the plaintiff did not establish a measurable loss as the plaintiff needed to prove that there was an offer to sell the car for a price over the advertised or offered price.

National Insurance Crime Bureau or NICB, appears to be an organization, a not-for-profit organization, to assist various entities including law enforcement and insurance companies in preventing various types of insurance fraud. It also appears that they had created, maintain and utilize a database which obtains information from insurance companies among other sources. It appears through the website that there is a service and/or database which were created through National Insurance Brime Bureau that appears to store information on vehicles, stored through their vehicle identification numbers.

It also appears that there is something called VINCheck which is a service various entities can use to check the history of automobiles. One would assume that the reliability and the usefulness of this database depend upon the source of the information.

The NICB was formed in 1992 from a merger between the National Automobile Theft Bureau (NATB) and the Insurance Crime Prevention Institute (ICPI), both of which were not-for-profit organizations. The NATB — which managed vehicle theft investigations and developed vehicle theft databases for use by the insurance industry — dates to the early 20th century, while the ICPI investigated insurance fraud for approximately 20 years before joining with the NATB to form the present National Insurance Crime Bureau.

NICB’s VINCheck is a free service provided to the public to assist in determining if a vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB member insurance companies. To perform a search, a vehicle identification number (VIN) is required. A maximum of five searches can be conducted within a 24-hour period per IP address.

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What information is contained in a CARFAX report

Many people are curious as to where Carfax gets all the information. Fortunately, the company who collects this information, Carfax, has placed the sources of their information on their website. One only needs to look at the website to determine if  the source for all the information is accurate. The interesting item on this is the information from insurance companies. Many times people think that all accidents or all claims that are involved with insurance companies get reported to Carfax. According to the Carfax site this is not the case. According to the Carfax site only the information which results in salvage or junk titles gets reported. There is no specific delineation, no specific indication, that any and all claims that are paid on vehicles are reported to Carfax. As an example:  There is an automobile accident and a vehicle receives damage and must be repaired which is paid for by the insurance company. The vehicle is not salvaged or total. One would think that this information should be or would be available to Carfax. According to the website this information is not available to Carfax. The accident report created by the police department might indicate an accident. But without this police reported accident and without this salvage title or junk title being issued it does not appear that in this information be reported. In my experience this is a common misconception with regard to the information contained in and reported on and through Carfax is. Carfax is an excellent resource to look at as far as the background of a vehicle. However it is imperative that you understand the entire data gathering process that is undergone in creating these reports. Nicely, Carfax has created on their website in place to examine all the sources of information. Once you look at this you can determine whether or not you find it personally useful.

The Law Office of Jonathan Rudnick LLC is a consumer law law firm

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