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Need Help With A Dealership Problem Informative - Salvage Title - Automobile

Review by Whirls on 2007-10-24
CRYSTAL LAKE, ILLINOIS -- I bought a car about a year ago from a reputable dealership in Crystal Lake... do to financial reasons, I traded that car in at another dealership who ran a Carfax while the deal was desked... We came to agreement on terms and I signed the contract. 3 months later the dealership that I traded my car in at contacted me and told me that a newer Carfax report was obtained and that they found my trade to be a salvaged vehicle and that I had no other choice but to buy it back. 2 months later a judgment was entered against me for the amount allowed on trade. Even though the dealership sold the car AND made money, the judge still ordered against me.

My wonder here is... Can I take the dealership that sold me the car to court? Can I sue them? It seems to have been a no win situation for me.
Comments:8 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-10-25
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-24:
You need a lawyer, as a matter of fact, you needed one back when the judgement was entered against you.
Posted by GothicSmurf on 2007-10-24:
Wow. That's an interesting case. I don't have any suggestions above what Ken stated. If you still have the VIN number perhaps you can get your own carfax report?

But I do have a comment: I find it interesting that the judge would rule against you after the dealership sold the vehicle. Wouldn't the dealership have to get the vehicle back and return it to you? And if there was a contract signed, funny how they could just re-nig their offer. Obviously you didn't know.
Posted by Aerocave on 2007-10-24:
Yes, you do have recourse, as long as you can prove that you had no prior knowledge that the car was a salvage title (at the time you purchased it). Look over your paperwork from when you purchased it. If nothing is mentioned about the vehicle being a "Salvage" or "Reconstructed" title, you should be able to go after the original selling dealer. (The one who sold you the car originally) These type of situations are tricky, especially because it took the dealer that you traded the vehicle 3 months to discover that this was a salvage title. I am surprised they are going after you at this point, when they were techically the ones who missed it. Generally, a salvage title cuts the value of the vehicle in half...They may have actually took a loss when they sold it, which they can go after you for the deficit. My guess is the dealer resold the vehicle and the party who purchased it discovered the branded title and went after them, who, the dealer in turn, decided to pursue you--which, by law they do have the right. However, 3 months later?

One other point, make sure the CarFax is accurate. Both dealers and customers treat Carfax reports like they are the gospel...Our dealership has noticed occasional errors and/or misreported information on these reports.

You need to contact an attorney familiar with these types of situations...especially ones who "like to take the bad dealers down." Every major metro area has one. You have a real mess on your hands. Good luck.

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-24:
something's not adding up here.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-24:
Doesn't the DMV registration indicate if a car has been salvaged? If it doesn't, it should.
Posted by Aerocave on 2007-10-25:
If the car originated in the state it was purchased in, the registration should reflect that. It is very hard to make a junk title a good title in state...but what happens is these cars come in from states where it is easy to "wash" the title (For instance New York) when the vehicle is brought in and sold (wholesale normally). For Example: Vehicle becomes Salvage title in New York, it is repaired, and brought into PA, and sold to small used car dealer...and suddenly...It has a clean title!

We had this exact situation happen to us...however, as I stated above, we 1)Traded the customer out out the R-Title vehicle--giving them what they paid for the car 2)Did research on the vehicle (it was a Ford Explorer) and even found old pictures of the vehicle when it was wrecked
3) Pursued the "Back Yard" Used Car lot where it was sold and threated to "take them down" (Operations that specialize in this really tick me off)
They wound up reimbursing us for the $5800 loss we absorbed when we wholesaled the Explorer. Thats why I am surprised that the dealer is going after the customer--unless that customer knew about the branded title of their vehicle and did not dislose to the dealer when it was traded?
Posted by FoggyOne on 2007-10-25:
Yeah, Pirate.. something just doesn't seem right here. If you have a valid title to a vehicle how in the heck are you supposed to know it was salvaged at any time - the title is clean. And even the dealer ran a CarFax and said it was OK. Something seems to be missing.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-10-25:
Aerocave is right on the money - there is quite a robust little industry out there laudering salvage titles. Some states take it more seriously than others do - you retitle it in a state with no salvage titles, getting a clean one, then you retitle it again in your home state - since there is no mention of salvage on the title, you get a clean one in your home state. Takes maybe thirty days, costs a couple hundred bucks, but increases the value of the car tremendously. Another scam happens in a state near me - they don't do salvage titles, so there is a big business there in selling "rebuildable wrecks" with clean titles. I have seen these cars - some of them have literally been wrapped around phone poles, but someone will buy that 2007 Corvette with 800 miles on it for $10K and a few months later it's for sale in the Auto Trader as a low mileage one owner car.

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