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Reasons to sue a car dealership

Reasons To Sue A Car Dealership & How To Sue


If you’re considering suing a car dealership, there are several things to consider. Although taking legal action isn’t always the best option, there are certain circumstances where it may be necessary in order to protect your rights as a consumer. In this article, we’ll discuss 8 of the most common and valid reasons to sue a car dealership.

If you leased or purchased a defective car it is very likely that you are entitled to compensation. Contact Cali Lemon Lawyers for a free case evaluation.

Common Reasons to Sue a Car Dealership

1. Breach of contract

Breach of contract, reasons to sue a car dealership

If your car dealer does not fulfill what was outlined in your contract you may have grounds to take it to small claims court. Some items that would fall under this category are misrepresenting terms, failing to disclose important information, deceptive practices and unfulfilled promises regarding your new car.

What do you do if your car is a lemon – this is how you can file a lemon law claim!

2. Negligence

You can sue for negligence if the car dealership is responsible for causing damage to your car or didn’t maintain it, if they didn’t properly repair your car or used defective parts and lacked transparency, you have reasons to sue a car dealership.

3. Fraud or Deception

negligence of dealership, reasons to sue a car dealership

Hiding damage or defects in the used car, misrepresenting the car’s history and condition, or making false claims about the financing terms as well as misinforming car buyers is another reason to sue.

Thoroughly reviewing the vehicle history report before buying it can provide valuable information about the car’s past, knowing the car state and will help you make the best financial decision for you.

Understanding the used car Lemon Laws in California will additionally aid you in making sure you don’t get tricked by a car dealership.

4. Consumer Protection Violations

There are Federal and state consumer protection laws in place place to protect you and other consumers from deceptive business practices. If the car dealership has violated any of these laws, you could sue for damages. Some examples of these items include issues related to the purchase price, consumer complaints, or sales tax.

If you have purchased a “lemon” – a car that is consistently in the shop and unable to be repaired – you may be able to sue the car dealership under your state’s lemon law.

Many car dealerships will take 30 days to repair your car as long as the vehicle is under warranty. This 30-day period does not have to be consecutive days.

5. Warranty Issues

lemon laws, reasons to sue a car dealership

If you purchased a vehicle that is supposed to be under warranty, but it does not function properly and you end up spending a significant amount of money on repairs, you may be able to recover your expenses and more through a lawsuit. The terms of your contract and state laws will determine the specifics of your claim as the car buyer.

6. Failure to Disclose

If a car dealer either deliberately misleads new car buyers in order to induce a purchase based on false promises, or fails to disclose a known defect, you may have a good basis for a legal claim. The specifics of your state laws, the contract you signed, and the nature of the dealer you purchased from will all impact your ability to sue.

7. Return Refusal

Failure to disclose, reasons to sue a car dealership

If you have been guaranteed a “no questions asked” return or a “cooling off” period or any other formulation that indicates you can change your mind, and the dealer refuses to accept your return, this could be a good reason to sue.

How To Sue A Car Dealership

How do you handle a car dealer dispute, reasons to sue a car dealership

If you are experiencing a dispute with a car dealership, there are several steps you can take to try to resolve the issue:

Gather all Relevant Documents

This could include the sales contract, repair records, financing documents, and any communications you’ve had with the dealership.

Try to Resolve the Issue Directly With the Dealership

Try to resolve disputes by speaking directly with the dealership and reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution.

Seek the Advice of a Lawyer

If you can’t resolve the issue directly with the dealership, or if you feel that your rights have been violated, you could seek the advice of a lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and advise you on the best course of action – but be mindful of those attorney fees!

File a Complaint With a Government Agency

If you believe that the car dealership has violated your consumer protection laws or engaged in deceptive practices, you could file a complaint with a government agency such as the Better Business Bureau or the Department of Consumer Affairs.

In the case of Lemon Law, consumers are typically able to sue a car dealership on a contingency basis, which means that the lawyer will only be paid if the case is won. This can be a good option for consumers who are unable to afford to pay attorney fees upfront.

Consider Taking Legal Action Against Auto Dealer Fraud

If you can’t resolve the issue through other means and you believe that you have a strong case, it’s time to take legal action. This could involve filing a small claims lawsuit or hiring an attorney to represent you in a more complex legal matter.

Keep in mind that every legal situation is unique, and the best course of action will depend on the specifics of your dispute. It’s always a good idea to speak with an experienced lawyer before making any decisions about your legal options even if you have many reasons to sue a car dealership.

Important Considerations Before Suing Car Dealerships

Before deciding to sue car dealerships, it’s important for car buyers to consider all options. You may want to try to resolve the issue with the dealership directly or seek the advice of a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with car dealership disputes.

If you do decide to pursue legal action against a car dealership and take it to small claims court, it’s important to keep in mind that the process can be complex and time-consuming. You’ll need to be prepared for a potentially lengthy process, and you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the legal system. A lawyer can advise you on the best course of action and help you build a strong case.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of legal representation. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the California Lemon Law and will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected. Our clients have consistently rated us highly for our professionalism, knowledge, and dedication to their cases.

Closing thoughts

It’s important to keep in mind that every legal situation is unique, and it’s always best to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer before taking any legal action. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and advise you on the best course of action in your particular situation and represent your case against car dealerships.

In the end, the decision to sue a car dealership is a personal one that should be based on your individual circumstances. If you believe that you have been wronged by a dealership and you have a strong case, taking legal action may be the best way to protect your rights and seek justice. However, it’s always best to speak with an experienced lawyer before making any decisions about your legal options.

Comments (13)
  • My name is Melba Williams and I owned a Toyota Rav-4 2009. I was having a problem with the engine reviving up while idling. I took it to Toyota dealership three times for the same problem and was told they could not find anything wrong and dismissed me. I eventually totally the SUV because the engine accelerated and could not be stopped even using my brakes.

    I would like to know if I have a case to sue Toyota due to negligence for not putting forth an effort to find out why car was having the problem.

    • Hi Melba,
      If you believe that Toyota was negligent in addressing the issue you were experiencing with your vehicle and this led to a safety concern that ultimately caused you to total your SUV, there may be legal avenues available to you. We recommend that you consult with a personal injury attorney who can provide guidance on any potential claims you may have.

  • I brought my car in for a simple recall, but was offered the option of putting it on a diagnostic machine for a fee, which I declined. The dealership seemed highly interested in my vehicle due to its low mileage and the condition of the engine. When I picked up my car, they insisted on making a repair that I had not requested, but claimed was necessary based on my warranty. I had not even purchased my car from them, and had just had it serviced the day before with no issues present.

    Since then, I have noticed that the engine looks like it has been rebuilt, and my car is now driving much harder. When I contacted the dealership to address the issue, they said they are booked for the next week or two and cannot see me immediately.

    I feel as though I was deceived and tricked into getting unnecessary work done, just so the dealership could swap out my engine. Can someone please advise me on what I can do about this situation?

    • We are sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced with your car dealership. We understand how frustrating it can be to feel deceived and tricked into unnecessary repairs.

      We would be happy to discuss your options with you over the phone. Please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation. Our experienced team of attorneys can assist you in determining the best course of action to take in order to protect your rights as a consumer.

  • I bought a elantra 2017 GL SED model with 184967 kms. They sold it to me for 25000 which is more than a new car at same model. I asked them for one day to let me think about pros and cons and they some how convinced me by saying that new car will be double the prize.

  • I went to do a trade-in for my car at a dealership. However, I had negative equity on my car that they specified the bank would not approve due to it being more negative equity than my car was worth to them, so I told them I would come back once I had a substantial amount to put down. The car salesman didn’t want to lose a sale and instead told me if I bought his car instead of doing the trade in, I could just let them come and repossess my old car and wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. I , luckily, had the knowledge to know that it would ruin my credit and I would be in debt with the car and he reassured me that none of that would happen which I also know is not true, but I also have it on video that he instructed me to do this. Am I able to sue strictly for fraud and misleading information?

  • i buy brand new car from toyota thay lied to me about extra tire when i find out thay told me they’ll exchange the car or trade in that one with extra tire but it’s been 5 months already thay keep telling cars not arrive yet what can i do ??

  • Katina Washington

    I purchased a vehicle from Car Max 35 days ago on a Friday evening. On the way home I noticed that a head light was out, oil change light and windshield fluid light was on, the brakes were making a loud noise, only one key worked and I smelled gas in the cabin. I called them back and they said it would take them 15 days to get the car in to check it. I asked to speak to a manager who told me to bring the car in and that it was a hazard for me to drive. Then they said it would take at least 2 weeks to get the parts in and gave me a loaner car. Two weeks later they said it was fixed and gave me the car back. I drove it home and the next day I was driving and the gas smelled over took me in the cabin it was storming outside and I had to pull over get out and throw up. They asked me to bring it to them again, I drove with the windows down and feeling ill all the way to the lot. They got me an Uber to a rental car store where I had to pay a deposit to get a vehicle to go home. Needless to say It’s been 7 days and I’m still in the rental and my first car note is due for the car I paid 32000 for that I’m not able to drive. What should I do?

  • I have purchased a used car they never told me the price . Salesman just kept promising it’ll be under $20,000. It was my first car I was excited they had me sign the contract on the computer someone was sitting at the desk scrolling for where to sign. I ended with a license suspension just two months after leaving turns out they registered my car in another state without notifying so while I’m paying for one insurance there was another one they setup and as a result my license was suspended I had to miss work and also $2,700 was my down payment they added a warranty by (company they own) which deducted $2,085 I reached out to them they told me what to do to get it removed I followed all instructions and they lied I check back a month later it’s still active. And the lady so called went on vacation ? I have all my proof and struggled to find a lawyer to represent me here in nyc. I have a final pre trial with them July 5th Im suing for $50,000 I was told I won’t get that although I have plenty proof that wasn’t even looked at will it be too late to get a lawyer

  • Purchased a car Ending January 2023 and still waiting on DMV registration license plate—contacted dealership stated that the 2nd owner who trade in the car provided duplicate title and DMV is requesting the original in order to issue registration to me. This is being going on for few months

  • I recently went fiesta Lincoln to get a 30 thousand miles check up get home the first day see leakeagh thing King it water from ac next day getting up going to the gym which only place I went to the day before I saw way much more leaks didn’t think it might be oil because that’s why took it there for my 3k inspection and they advised me I need new tires so i paid around 1600 dollars once home all the problems called them the said bring car in so i did call literally told me stop car and pull over luckily there was a golf course where I was able to sit in ac instead of a 100 degrees being 64 of age they come out check car I have to wait for tow truck terrible experience tow truck took me to dealer ship

  • i purchased a vehicle from ABC auto in 2020 because i am disabled and raising 2 small grandchildren. in 2021, i took the car into the auto repair the warranty people told me too and the repair shop did not repair the issue correctly. i tried took it back, but was hit with a hefty repair bill even though it was supposed to be covered under warranty. the third time, the amount was even larger for the problem they still never fixed. the finance company recently lowered my payments due to my income being reduced but now because i am 5 days late, repossessed my vehicle. because of the issue never being correctly repaired, i cannot get my sticker due to the amount of the repair that needs to be done. i feel this is really unfair because they do not work with you can constantly harassing you daily even if the payment due the first day. my referred two of my daughters and both regret working with them. one of my daughter’s vehicle had made a major problem where the engine caught fire at the repair shop. the guy hadnt even started working on the car yet. my daughter only had the car for 1 month. my other daughter’s car started having transmission issues a month later but they didnt confiscate the vehicle for over 4 months. what can i do dealing with my vehicle? i have tried before working with them but different agents would call constantly harassing or threatening even if i make arrangements to pay the amount late.

  • My dealership is not providing me my plates and even after 30 days of buying my car whenever i ask them for plates they are saying they haven’t received it but the actual reason is they sent my plates back to dmv by mistake and now they are not providing me my plates what can i do to get my plates?

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Consumer protection laws in California and nationwide actively protect buyers of vehicles and other consumer goods. They hold a particular importance when purchasing or leasing a new vehicle. The California Lemon Law grants legal rights to those who find themselves with a vehicle that continually fails to function properly, providing a pathway to seek resolution and potential compensation.

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