You bought a brand new car with that new car smell and can't wait to drive around town and show it off a bit (or a lot!)
Somewhere along that drive a friend says, "Hey, did you notice THIS?"
"WHAT?!" you say.
And there IT is - a funny patch of paint, a dull spot, a dimple. And your brand new car bubble deflates. How can this be? This is supposed to be a brand new car!
A new car may be damaged during transport or on the dealer’s lot prior to sale. If the damage is minor, a dealer is not required to inform you. But a car dealer is required to disclose pre-existing damage prior to selling the car in the following circumstances.
(1) Damage to the frame or drive train.
(2) Damage to the suspension requiring repairs other than wheel balancing or alignment.
(3) Damage that occurs in connection with a theft of the vehicle.
(4) Damage requiring repairs, including parts and labor, that exceeds the greater of 3% of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or $500.
For example, $1,500 is 3% of a vehicle with an MSRP of $50,000. Thus, if the repair cost exceeds $1,500 the dealer is required to disclose the damage to you prior to signing the purchase contract.
Well, don't you think the dealer is going to fix it himself and under charge for that repair to keep it under the 3%? Hmmmm......
Sorry folks. The calculation is based on the dealer's reported cost to repair. If it is obviously a much greater repair, then you may need to have the car inspected to determine what is a realistic repair cost and take the dealer to task. If the dealer refuses to buy it back, you might want to contact an auto sales fraud attorney. (Hmmm.... now where would you find one of those?)