$12,500 Used Car Structural Damage Settlement
Guaranteed Auto Sales in Glen Burnie, Maryland sold a young woman who lived outside of Maryland a 2001 Infinity model QX4, VIN JNRDR07Y51W104811, that had a history of structural damage. Once our client discovered the damage, Guaranteed Auto Sales claimed to not have known about it. However, Guaranteed Auto claimed on their website, https://www.guaranteedcars.net/, that each and every vehicle is “inspected over and over again to make sure that we are only putting quality on our lot.” Once the damage was discovered, they refused to purchase the vehicle back. It was not until our client hired the used car dealership fraud lawyers at Whitney, LLP, and we filed a lawsuit, that they agreed to take the car back and pay our client $12,500, which included attorney’s fees. Consultations are always free.
Buying a Used Car with Structural Damage
The following section is our client’s account and allegations of what happened when she went to Guaranteed Auto Sales in Glen Burnie, Maryland:
On January 14, 2017 our client drove from her home in New Jersey to the Dealership to look for a vehicle to purchase, as our client had viewed the vehicle model she preferred, a 2001 Infinity model QX4, with 84,376 miles, advertised for sale on the Dealership’s website. Previously, our client had owned a similar model vehicle and found it to be reliable, and wanted to purchase another one.
Upon arrival at Guaranteed Auto Sales, our client met with and explained to its employees that she needed a highly reliable vehicle, including for transportation for serious personal medical treatments she was currently receiving. Our client was then shown a 2001 Infinity QX4, VIN JNRDR07Y51W104811 (the “Vehicle”). Upon inspection, the Vehicle’s interior was clean and in good condition.
Our client was told that the Vehicle was very reliable, had no problems, and invited her to take a test drive, which she did. To her untrained eye, the Vehicle appeared to be reliable and safe. The employees then provided repeated assurances to her that the Vehicle was “reliable,” “excellent” and in “perfect” condition, and promised that there was nothing wrong with it and that it had no reliability issues.
When was negotiating the price of the Vehicle, an employee who claimed he was an owner repeatedly justified the above market price by saying the Vehicle was in “reliable,” “excellent” and “perfect” condition, and promised that there was nothing wrong with it and that it had no reliability issues.
Prior to traveling to Guaranteed Auto Sales, our client had read Guaranteed Auto Sales’ website at https://www.guaranteedcars.net/, which represented, among other things, that all of their cars for sale “are inspected over and over again to make sure that we are only putting quality on our lot.” Our client relied upon these representations in deciding to drive from her home in New Jersey to Maryland to purchase the Vehicle.
Based upon the representations made by Guaranteed Auto Sales in person and on their website, our client purchased the Vehicle for $6,320.00.
Shortly after purchasing the Vehicle, our client began to experience problems with the Vehicle when our client drove it greater than 50 miles per hour. The Vehicle’s steering wheel would shake, and a clanking noise would repeatedly occur from the front passenger side when the steering wheel was turned fully to its right. Our client was extremely frightened and upset by the problems with the Vehicle.
On February 11, 2017, our client brought the Vehicle to an authorized Infinity dealership and service center in New Jersey, where the technician found severe rust damage and cracks in the Vehicle’s frame. The Infinity dealership technician described damage to the Vehicle’s control arm, found that an obvious pre-purchase repair had been attempted with “Bondo” and failed, and concluded that the Vehicle was not safe to be driven.
Our client inquired with the same New Jersey Infinity dealership, and then other facilities about making repairs to the Vehicle, but could not find any willing to undertake such efforts. After each repair facility made its inspection of the Vehicle, each found it unsafe to drive, and each refused to work to repair it, expressing fear of later being found liable for problems or injuries that might arise, due to the Vehicle’s overwhelming pre-existing structural problems.
Our client repeatedly contacted Guaranteed Auto Sales to demand that they take the unsafe and defective Vehicle back and refund her purchase price. They refused to take her phone calls for weeks, until an employee who said he was an owner finally got on the phone. He told her “It’s your problem,” and then offered to replace the damaged frame of the Vehicle if our client would have the Vehicle shipped to them and pay an additional $2,000.
Our client then filed a complaint against Guaranteed Auto Sales with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (“MVA”). The MVA investigation revealed severe pre-existing structural problems to the Vehicle’s frame, dating back to at least December 2016.
Our client had to discontinue driving the Vehicle due to its unsafe condition, and was forced to find and obtain substitute transportation by borrowing, renting and then leasing substitute motor vehicles, all at a substantial cost to her. Had the damage to the Vehicle, and its dangerous condition, been disclosed, our client never would have purchased it.
Lawyer for Consumer Rights with AS-IS Vehicles
Guaranteed Auto Sales sold the Vehicle to our client “As-is.” However, selling a used motor vehicle “As-is” is does not provide a license to a used car salesman or dealership to lie, cheat, deceive or commit fraud against potential customers regarding the condition of the used motor vehicle in order to achieve a sale. Selling a vehicle as-is simply means that you are buying what you are buying in the condition it is in. The condition of the vehicle cannot be lied about or misrepresented. Consumer should be aware that they still have rights when it comes to as-is vehicles.
Lawyer for MVA Used Auto Complaints
In Maryland, any person may file an MVA Complaint against a new or used car seller. Here is the link. However, the process can take a long time, and may be confusing if you are not familiar with it. Whitney, LLP’s used car dealership lawyers can help evaluate the claim, help decide the right cause of action, whether a legal claim, filing a lawsuit, and/or filing an MVA complaint, and do so at no out of pocket cost.
Unfortunately, there are both new and used car dealerships in Maryland that lie, forge signatures, misrepresent and otherwise do their best to deceive consumers who simply want to purchase a reliable vehicle. If this has happened to you, Contact Us for a Legal Consultation using our online Contact Form, or call (410) 583-8000.