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  1. #1
    jesseneedshelp Guest

    Dealer lied about mileage what can I do?

    Im in Arkansas. A little less than three weeks ago I bought a '96 Jeep Cherokee from a "Buy here Pay here" car lot. Since then I have had numerous problems with the vehicle mainly the transmission is starting to slip. I know Arkansas does not have a lemon law but I think I may still have a case against the lot. here are the details.

    The odometer (digital not manual cable) read 172,251 when I bought it. I would not have purchased it being so high but the salesman and the lot manager both matter-of-factly assured me that the Jeep was a trade in from an elderly couple who had been pulling the Jeep around the country behind their rv. They said that most of that mileage was just tow time. I believed them and bought it. Since I started having problems I did some personal tests and found that the vehichle would not rack up miles while in nuetral. I also called a 4x4 shop and asked them what they thought and was told that there is no way it would accumulate mileage during tow. I also got on a RV forum online and was told by other Jeep owners that their Cherokee's of same year did not gain mileage during tow. So I know I was lied to.

    I was also told by the salesman that the vehichle underwent an extensive inspection by thier mechanics. My vehichle has had a turn signal out since I bought it. The back floorboard takes on water when it rains. The catalytic converter is clogged. The brakes are now squeeling and grinding. The engine coolant was a 1/2 gallon low. These are all things that would be checked in a normal inspection so I am led to believe it was never inspected at all. It was pouring rain the day I bought the vehichle so I didnt check it as extensively as I should have but it drove well so I bought it. Im 21 and got too excited.

    The total price I am paying for the vehichle over 30 months of financing is close to $14,000. I knew that was a little steep but I have completely shot credit so I figured I would have to bite the bullet and pay too much for the car. I figured it would establish my credit. I have since looked up the book value on the car and it is $6,905 according to Kelly Blue Book. This does not include subtractions for the malfunctions.

    Do I have a leg to stand on legally to bring some sort of law suit against them?
    Last edited by jesseneedshelp; 12-05-2003 at 03:31 PM.
  2. #2
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    "Do I have a leg to stand on legally to bring some sort of law suit against them?"
    *** Not based on the contents of your post. Simply, you had an obligation to check the vehicle out (and the dealer claims) BEFORE you purchased it. The fact that it was raining, etc., is not relevant to your waiving your obligation. Caveat Emptor.

    And I can't believe you paid $14,000 for a SEVEN year old Jeep with over 172K miles!! The NADA shows that a 1996 Jeep Cherokee (2wd) in Arkansas is only $3400 RETAIL!!!
  3. #3
    blc1277 Guest

    Lambgoat

    Hey since I didn't get to your message on Lambgoat glad to try to help a fellow Lambgoater. Actually the previous poster is wrong. If you would have bought the car outright or financed through a bank you might have had a bit more dificulty. Considering that you are at a buy here pay here place and got financed there I assume, with this in mind you entered a contract with them. You do have legal recourse through fraud. The people at the dealership made a material misrepresentation of the condition of the car. Courts often will not consider fraud puffering up the image of the car as far as making seem better than it is. However the facts that they stated was a material misrepresentation of the car and what it was (condition, mileage, etc.). I believe that you definitely have a legal course of action. I am making the assumption that if you had known the condition you would not have entered into the contract. Enough contracts I just got done with that exam, now I can move onto Property and find out about Caveat Emptor. If you have any other question email me. [email]soadisgood@yahoo.com[/email]
    Good luck,
    Ben
  4. #4
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    WRONG-O!! Lambeater.

    "You do have legal recourse through fraud. "
    *** No you don't. You would have to PROVE these statements were made to you and you can't do that. Therefore, you simply have NO recourse.

    "The people at the dealership made a material misrepresentation of the condition of the car."
    *** What was material?? They said they inspected it, the writer gives obvious evidence that they didn't (and he should have). They lied about HOW the mileage was accrued. Most people know that you don't tow a vehicle for that many miles in neutral, or that most vehicle odometers are driven off the transmission. Courts allow 'sales puff' and rely on the principle that the buyer has an obligation to UNDERSTAND his purchase (called 'Caveat Emptor').

    "Courts often will not consider fraud puffering up the image of the car as far as making seem better than it is. "
    *** Correct.

    "However the facts that they stated was a material misrepresentation of the car and what it was (condition, mileage, etc.)."
    *** Wrong. They did not lie about the mileage, only about how it was accumulated. And there is nothing in this post to say that they lied about the 'condition'.

    "I believe that you definitely have a legal course of action. I am making the assumption that if you had known the condition you would not have entered into the contract."
    *** Then I assume that you are confident enough in your position that you will front the several thousand dollars that will be needed to bring this to trial, right???

    "Enough contracts I just got done with that exam, now I can move onto Property and find out about Caveat Emptor."
    *** And hope that you find out about the REALITY of law also and not just some 'book learnin'.
  5. #5
    blc1277 Guest
    Fraud in the inducement- willful misrepresentation of a material fact that someone would not have signed the contract if the real facts were known, court makes distinction b/t this and puffering

    I would say that given the great discrepancy of how the miles were put on and how they were presented to be put on makes a great deal of difference and would be considered a material misrepresentation of the car. Given that very little miles would have been put on the engine and transmission when being towed
    it could be reasonably implied that this was a material misrepresentation to the condition. A dealer also has a duty to make the material facts known to a buyer and can be held responsible for not inforrming and certainly for deception. I am by no means saying that he is certain to win and it is not my duty to put up his defense, you should feel a duty to give a decent answer if you want to help people rather then saying "No, caveat emptor" there is too much underlying. In regards to legal reality, if you came into court or met with a client and gave an answer like that you would get laughed out of court.
    Last edited by blc1277; 12-05-2003 at 07:57 PM.
  6. #6
    advicesucks Guest
    actually JETX is right on, this guy doesnt stand a chance.

    The dealer didnt lie about the mileage at all. In fact, its staring the buyer right in the face everytime he starts the car.

    Saying the miles were put on "towed on the back of an RV" is just like saying "the little old lady just drove it to church on Sunday"...while its an interesting tidbit of information, its not going to be the basis of a successful suit.

    BLC looks like you are in law school? Great, but remember law school teaches THEORY, not the reality of what happens everydau with cases.

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