Car Should Not Have Passed Maryland Safety Inspection

Watch the Video Below:  Too many consumers in Maryland buy a used car and realize the car should not have passed the Maryland Vehicle Safety Inspection.

Maryland car dealers are required to have a used car pass the Maryland Safety Inspection (Read about it on the MVA’s website) (“MSI”) before they sell the vehicle to a consumer who is going to register the car in Maryland. If the vehicle is going to be registered outside of Maryland, the vehicle is not required to pass Maryland inspection.

However, there are dishonest car dealers that will sell a used car without it passing the Maryland Safety Inspection even when required by law. What these dealers often do to cover their tracks is create a fake and fraudulent Maryland safety inspection and report the fraudulent safety inspection to the MVA.  Bad vehicle inspections are some of the many car dealer problems our lawyers help car buyers with.

Whitney, LLP’s lawyers for car dealership problems help buyers fight back. Our auto dealer fraud lawyers have successfully sued vehicle inspection stations, and new and used dealers across Maryland, to unwind bad car deals and recover compensation. Click Here to Read about our Top 10 Most Common Types of Cases against Car Dealers.

Click Here to read about Whitney, LLP’s past car dealer fraud settlements.
Click Here to read blogs about our other car dealer cases, including settlements and lawsuits we filed.

We offer Legal Consultations to Car Buyers. Call Whitney, LLP at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact Form, to discuss your potential case.  Here is our YouTube Channel  for videos on car dealer problems and legal issues.

The Edited Video Transcript is Below:

Hi, this is Dan Whitney with the Whitney Law Firm in Towson, Maryland. Today, we’re going to talk about the problem of, “What should I do when my car should not have passed the Maryland safety inspection?” I sue many car dealerships on behalf of clients across Maryland; new car dealers, used car dealers, and inspection stations that do fraudulent or negligent Maryland state inspections. This is a huge problem in Maryland.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of dishonest Maryland state safety inspection inspectors that will pass a car despite serious problems with it. Usually, the way this works is somebody goes to buy a used car, and they take it for a little test drive around the block or relatively short. They think, “Okay, I guess it’s all right.” They buy it and they take it home.

Within usually a couple days or a week, the truth begins to come out, and it turns out that the car perhaps shudders and turns off when it’s being driven. Perhaps it pulls severely to one side, perhaps because a steering component is bent or otherwise damaged. The problem could be that a severely damaged component of the car such as the bumper has been damaged, but that was not detected. It could be a whole host of issues, and the question is what does the customer do about this? What do you do when you find out your car should not have passed inspection?

Fortunately, in Maryland, the Maryland State Police have an excellent program through the Maryland State Police Automotive Safety Enforcement Division. What they will do as a free service to consumers is they will offer a free inspection of a car that was purchased typically within the last 30 days or 1000 miles, and there’s some wiggle room on the end of that if you’re close to those limits and a little bit over. But they will cause an inspection to be performed to determine whether or not, to their standards, the car should have passed inspection. And if they say, “Yes, it should have,” well, that’s pretty much the end of it.

But a lot of times, the state police do the Maryland safety inspection, and they will determine that although an inspection station passed it, the inspection never should’ve passed this vehicle. It was a bad inspection and they violated the state administrative regulations that are the guideline as to the criteria that determines whether or not a car should pass. So if the state police figure out and they do their inspection and they determine that this car should not have passed, a report gets issued, and the report will cite the specific COMAR, Code of Maryland Regulations, COMAR provisions that were violated.

The benefit to the customer is one, now you’ve got a Maryland state police investigator who has determined the car should not have passed. But you’re still stuck with the issue of, “I’ve got this car, and what am I going to do about it?” Typically, what happens is once somebody calls the state police, an inspection gets done, and it’s determined this should not have passed inspection, they go to the dealer and they say, “Dealer, this car should not have passed. Help me.” And the dealer often says, “Tough luck. We didn’t do the inspection. The inspection station did it. This is the inspection station’s problem. I don’t want to hear about it.”

Now, this is a completely inappropriate approach to take, and we have had cases where we sue not only the negligent and fraudulent inspection station for doing a bad Maryland safety inspection, but we also sue the dealer.

In a recent case, in which this scenario happened, the Maryland state police investigator did his report, said it should not have passed. In this case, there was tremendous bumper damage that was obvious that should have failed the car, but the inspector passed it anyway in a particularly fraudulent inspection. What we did is we sued the inspection station, we sued the dealership, and at the end of the day, fortunately, the dealership bought the car back. Our client received compensation for the emotional distress for having to deal with this nightmare for months, and between the dealer and the inspection station, all of the attorney’s fees were paid, so our client paid nothing out of pocket as usual. But if this has happened to you, and you’ve been the victim of a bad Maryland state safety inspection, you have legal rights and you should know what to do.

End Video Transcript

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Maryland Vehicle Inspection Report

Finding the Date of the Maryland Safety Inspection

To find the date that a Maryland Safety Inspection was done, check the Maryland State Police link.  Enter the last 7 of the VIN and it will return information for “inspections conducted in the last year, and for vehicles that have passed, will be displayed.”

So, if you run the VIN, and there is no result, but there should be, that likely means that the vehicle did not pass inspection.

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Maryland Regulations on Maryland Safety Inspections

The Code of Maryland Regulations (“COMAR”) (A) (Read the actual regulations here) requires a MSI to be performed when a used car is sold and will be registered in Maryland:

An inspection is required when a used vehicle is sold or ownership is transferred or when a used vehicle is to be titled and registered in the State. As requested by a vehicle owner, owner’s agent, or dealer, a certified inspection mechanic at an inspection station shall perform a complete inspection, as set forth in this subtitle.

COMAR (A)(6) further requires the MSI inspection certificate to be provided to the purchaser of the vehicle upon transfer of ownership of the vehicle.

When a car dealer sells a used car that has not passed the Maryland Safety Inspection and the car is going to be registered in Maryland, the consumer may file a lawsuit against the dealer for violation of Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act, negligence, fraud, and other causes of action.

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Dealer Created a Fake Safety Inspection

Creating or reporting a fraudulent Maryland Safety Inspection puts the dealer at risk of losing their license to sell cars in Maryland.

In a recent case in Maryland, Whitney LLP‘s lawyers for bad vehicle safety inspections filed a lawsuit against a car dealer that created a fake safety inspection two days after they sold a car to our client.

In that case, our client purchased a car on November 19, but a search of the database for the Maryland safety inspection showed that the inspection had been performed two days later. Of course, that was impossible because our client had possession of the car and did not get it inspected on that day.

Instead, what really happened, was the dishonest car dealership tried to cover their tracks and created a fraudulent inspection so they could register the car in Maryland, which the consumer had paid them  to do.

Discovering a Fake Maryland Safety Inspection

Our client had requested the Maryland Safety Inspection certification when he tried to register with a car delivery service. As part of the requirements for the car service, he was required to show the vehicle had passed the Maryland Safety Inspection.

When he asked the dealer for the Maryland Safety Inspection certificate, they produced one that was over a year old, and could not produce a valid Maryland Safety Inspection certificate.

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Lawsuit Filed for False Maryland Safety Inspection

After Whitney LLP‘s car dealer fraud lawyers filed a lawsuit against the dishonest dealership for creating the fake inspection and selling the vehicle without being Maryland inspected, the dealer settled.

The settlement included buying the car back, paying the loan off to the finance company, reimbursing the client for his car payments and insurance for the time he owned it, and paying all of Whitney LLP‘s attorneys fees.

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Damaged Cars Should Not Pass Maryland Inspection

In addition to Maryland dealers selling cars that did not pass the Maryland Safety Inspection, and creating fraudulent safety inspections, there are also safety inspectors that pass cars that should not qualify to pass.

These negligent and fraudulent Maryland safety inspectors pass vehicles that have structural damage, frame damage, serious mechanical problems, bald tires, odometer issues, and other safety and damage problems.

Fraudulent and negligent Maryland safety inspectors, and fraudulent inspection stations, can cause terrible problems for consumers put in a dangerous and unsafe car. In addition to the car  not operating correctly, injury and death can result when car stalls or dies on the road or highway, the brakes do not work, or the vehicle is in a collision and the consumer is injured because there are structural or frame damage problems

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Injury After Negligent Car Repairs or Bad Safety Inspection

Examples of a negligent or fraudulent safety inspection, and the consequences, include cars being hit and the occupants being seriously injured because the frame and structure of the car had already been in a bad accident, had not been properly repaired, but the vehicle still “passed” the MSI.

Whenever a car sustains a collision and is damaged, there are certain components in the structure and in the frame that have to be repaired so they are able to protect the occupants from another collision. If those repairs are not completed properly, the vehicle should not pass Maryland’s Safety Inspection. 

When there is frame damage or structural damage that is not properly repaired, and the car is sold again or continues to be driven without proper repair, all it takes is one more collision that may cause serious injury or death.

Lawsuit for a Negligent Maryland Safety Inspection

In another recent case, Whitney LLP‘s lawyers for car dealer problems filed a lawsuit against a fraudulent inspection station that “passed” a vehicle with obvious structural damage under the bumper. We also filed suit against the car dealer that sold the car because the car had not passed the Maryland Safety Inspection at the time of the sale even though the car was being registered in Maryland.

Our client purchased a car from the dealership and immediately began to have problems. It was running very rough and our client reported the problem to the Maryland State Police Automotive Safety Enforcement Division. The Maryland State Police are great in dealing with bad Maryland Safety Inspections, and they will set up a second inspection after receiving a complaint about a car that should not have passed inspection.

At the second inspection where the Maryland State Police Investigator was present, it was determined that the vehicle had severe structural problems and never should have passed the inspection.

The case settled with the vehicle being bought back, compensation for our client for her out-of-pocket expenses and emotional distress, and payment of all attorney’s fees.

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Daniel W. Whitney, Sr. and Daniel W. Whitney, Jr. of Whitney, LLP

Lawyer for Bad Maryland Safety Inspections

If you purchased a car that should not have passed the Maryland safety inspection, or was sold and it had not passed the safety inspection, you have legal rights and can sue the dealer and/or the inspection station to recover compensation another damages.  Whitney, LLP’s lawyers deal with car dealer problems and bad inspections. We have experience representing consumers in bad safety inspection cases.

Or, if you were in a collision and were injured as result of prior damage not being properly repaired or disclosed, you may have claims against the dealer and inspection station, and potentially the company that repaired the vehicle improperly.

We offer Legal Consultations to Car Buyers. Call Whitney, LLP at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact Form, to discuss your potential case.


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