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My Used Car Should NOT Have Passed Inspection – Legal Rights

When you realize that the car you just bought should not have passed the Maryland Vehicle Safety Inspection, take action quickly to preserve and protect your legal rights, which will help you find the best way to undo, or fix, the problem of buying an unreliable car.

In Maryland, after buying a used car and finding structural damage, engine damage, or other unsafe or damaged areas, the immediate first step is to file the appropriate complaints with the Maryland State Agencies whose mandate it is to enforce dealer compliance with Maryland law. These agencies will perform free investigations and make a determination in a written report that you may be able to use to undo the sale and get your money back, or use to make the seller fix the vehicle.

Whitney, LLP’s consumer auto fraud attorneys assist our clients with filing complaints with MSP ASED and with the MVA for negligent or false Maryland Safety Inspections, and all other types of dealer violations.  We provide free consultations, and attorney’s fees and expenses are paid from compensation we recover from the offending auto dealerships. Contact us now at (410) 583 8000, or use our Online Quick Contact Form and we will be in touch.

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Maryland Safety Inspection for Used Cars

The purpose of the Safety Inspection is to ensure that used cars being purchased by individuals meet certain basic safety standards and are safe to drive and operate on the road.  When a car begins to have serious problems within weeks of being purchased, those defects likely existed at the time the inspection was performed, and you may have claims against the inspection shop and seller for failing to provide a safe vehicle.

Dealers and service stations providing safety these inspections must be licensed and are required to perform inspections according to Maryland law. When an inspection shop passes a car that should have failed the inspection, and a consumer purchases that vehicle, the consumer now has legal rights against the negligent, or fraudulent, inspection shop.

Areas of the vehicle that are required to be inspected, and pass the inspection, include the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), steering, wheel alignment, suspension, brake system, wheels and tires, fuel system, exhaust system, bumpers, fenders, glazing (windows) wipers:, hood/catches, door/handles, floors/trunk pans, speedometer/odometer, electrical system, driver seat, seatbelts, motor mounts, gear shift selection indicator, universal & constant velocity (cv) joints, and emissions/catalytic converter.

Filing a Used Car Inspection Complaint with ASED MSP

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ASED MSP Website for Used Car Maryland Safety Inspection Complaints

The first step is to call the Automotive Safety Enforcement Division (ASED)of the Maryland State Police (MSP) Inspection unit at the MVA in Glen Burnie at (410) 768-7388.  Their website is here.

The MSP ASED will quickly arrange to inspect the vehicle, at no cost to you, and will determine whether it should have passed the Maryland inspection or not.  They will issue a written report, and determine whether or not to find the inspection station in violation of Maryland law.  If they are in violation, you now have potential legal claims against the used car seller and the inspection station that “passed” the vehicle. the written report will be very helpful to you.

Filing an MVA Complaint for an Unsafe Used Car

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The section of the MVA website showing how to file a complaint against a car seller.

The second step is to file an MVA complaint. An MVA complaint can be filed by completing the Dealer Complaint form located on the MVA’s website.

The MVA will assign an investigator to review the complaint and the records from the sale and inspection. The MVA investigator and the ASED investigator will often speak with each other while their investigations are both ongoing.  The MVA will seek to determine if the used car seller violated Maryland law by selling the unsafe car to the consumer.  However, even if the MVA investigator’s report does not find the seller did anything wrong, you should not accept that as the final answer.  The MVA reports are narrow in scope and do not come close to exploring all of the legal rights that consumers have against car dealerships, regardless of a conclusion in the report.

Attorney to Help When a Used Car Should Not Have Passed Inspection

Consumers have legal rights when it comes to being sold unsafe cars. Whitney, LLP’s auto fraud and safety inspection lawyers have been helping Maryland residents for years with a variety of claims and cases involving dishonest, negligent and fraudulent new and used car dealerships selling damaged and unsafe vehicle. By filing complaints with the ASED MSP and MVA, and then contacting Whitney, LLP, consumers can begin to protect their rights and obtain a free legal consultation to determine an available course of action.

Consultations are always free.  Contact us at (410) 583 8000, or use our Online Quick Contact Form and we will be in touch. We can help.

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