If you recently found out that you bought a vehicle with undisclosed car frame damage, you should take legal action against your car dealer immediately.
By filing a lawsuit, you can get your money back, return your car and cancel the contract, or keep your car but make the dealer pay for damages and costs.
Call Our Auto Fraud Attorneys If You Answer ‘Yes’ To Any of These Questions:
- Did you buy a car and find out later that it was in an accident?
- Did the dealer hide the truth about your car or lie to you that the car was in good condition?
- Were you given a copy of a carfax when you bought your car?
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Does Frame Damage mean the vehicle is not safe to drive?
Car frame damage results from the vehicle being in an accident and can make a car very unsafe to drive, and cause many other problems down the line. A damaged frame can make the automobile more dangerous in an accident, and a bent or cracked frame may be impossible to repair or may cost the owner of the vehicle thousands in repairs. Once a car has frame damage, it is almost always given a salvage title status, which is something that the dealership legally must disclose to buyers – but often don’t.
Call Our Los Angeles Auto Fraud Attorneys If You Want To:
- Cancel your contract with your dealer because they lied to you.
- Return your vehicle and cancel your contract because the payments are higher than promised.
- Get a refund because the dealer ripped you off.
- Call us at (818) 254-8413 for immediate help.
Car salesmen often illegally sell used cars with damage to buyers who are unaware of any defects. Many times the new owner is kept in the dark about the problem on the car’s title until they start having other issues, such as transmission or motor issues. They then take the car to their trusted mechanic or body shop, which does an inspection to determine if it has previously been in an accident, which resulted in frame damage.
There are good reasons why the dealership doesn’t tell customers about frame damage – most importantly because it decreases the value of the car dramatically. Many others find out about the prior accident and subsequent damage once they need a repair or try to resell the vehicle and realize that it isn’t worth nearly as much as it should be because of the problem with the car frame. Many buyers trust a carfax report to show any vehicle frame damage, but carfax accuracy is about 70% and often omits key information about vehicles.
If you are worried about purchasing a car with defects or the dealer sold you a structural damage car that you were not aware of, read some tips on buying & owning a car that the Federal Trade Commission has listed.
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Can You Sue the Dealership For Frame Damage?
You have the right to purchase a car that is safe, and where any defects are disclosed to you prior to signing the sales contract. It is not illegal for dealerships to sell cars with frame damage or prior accidents, but they MUST disclose this information, in writing to the buyer. If this information was not provided, then you can sue the dealership for the frame damage to the used car.
Our auto fraud attorneys are here to help consumers who have been scammed by a dealership with timely and free advice. Our lawyers do real-time research to find any problem or issue with a vehicle. In most cases, we are able to settle with the dealer out of court to get our clients the justice they deserve. When you sue the dealership for misrepresenting a car through our law firm, we are in your corner. Our goal is to help our clients get a refund and cancel the contract.
How to Check for Frame Damage
There are several types of frame damage, and these problems can each make driving unsafe and your vehicle upkeep more expensive. A mashed frame occurs when a vehicle is in a head-on or rear-end collision, and could cause underlying car frames to become shorter than the body — causing an actual sagging of the vehicle. A similar type of accident collision could also result in a Twisted frame — which can actually cause a car to lean. Finally, a Sway Frame — which usually occurs when vehicles are struck in the corner during a collision — may cause the vehicle to be unable to be driven in a straight line, as well as causing vibrations when turning.
The hidden cost of vehicles with Car Frame Damage
In addition to hurting your vehicle value when selling your car, buying a vehicle with a history of damage to a car’s frame can hurt your wallet (replacement parts), and loved ones, in other ways. The car with vehicle frame damage has less structural integrity (or support) — it will not hold up as well in a future collision. Also, cars with this type of damage are likely to not ride right — affecting your ability to safely drive the car. The ride will usually be rougher …with poor gas mileage and more wear and tear on your tires and coils. These things are important to consider.
Spotting a bent frame
An automotive expert is, obviously, your best bet to assess car frame damage. If you want to try to spot it yourself, you should examine both the exterior and underneath the vehicle. Looking at all parts of the vehicle may be impossible without a lift and proper tools.
The most obvious signs often indicate the worst damage to the frame. Look carefully for indications of cracks or creases in your car’s exterior.
Another indication of a bent frame may be difficulty closing a car door that doesn’t close without applying extra effort. Also, the doors may leave a gap or not close all the way. Yet another indication may be that a panel or bumper appears uneven or are not straight.
In addition, your alignment might feel off — even after having a professional alignment done. If you feel your vehicle pulling in one direction, a bent frame is a likely culprit.
Listen for creaking, squeaking, or other unusual noise coming from the underside of the car. Also, be on the lookout for uneven wear on tires. If uneven/frequent wear and tear occur, a bent frame may be the culprit.
Another bent frame clue might be if you are attempting to drive straight, but you find your car veering on an angle instead. A bent frame may faster wear and tear in this area of your car.
Cars with a bent frame should generally not be driven. In addition to extra wear and tear on your car, your run the risk of causing more damage than normal in future accidents, as cars with a bent frame tend to have less structural support.
Do Lemon Laws Apply to Used Car Transactions?
Even if you purchased your used car “as is”, the seller/dealer should provide a vehicle history, and must disclose if the car was in a prior accident. There is a very strong chance that damaged frames are caused by a previous accident. Failure to do so, whether on purpose or not, can make the seller liable for paying for damages & refunding the sale price of the vehicle.
Read more on “Is There A Lemon Law For Used Cars?“
Speak with Our Auto Attorneys About Frame Damage – Free Consultation
As with any area of law, auto fraud is time-sensitive. This means that taking action sooner than later often provides the best results, and having all of your original paperwork can strengthen your case against the dealership. Don’t be another victim of auto fraud in California, call our office today for a free legal consultation before it’s too late! Our lawyers and support staff are here to help!
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