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Can You Sue a Car Dealership for Misrepresenting a State of a Used Vehicle?

West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney 2023-01-26 16-49-13

Purchasing a used car can be stressful. While most consumer advocates agree that a good used car offers a better value than a brand new car, there is also a significantly higher risk of something going wrong. This raises an important question: Can you sue a used car dealership for making material misrepresentations about a vehicle? In Florida, the answer is “yes”—you may have a claim under one or more of several causes of action. Here, our Miami FDUTPA attorneys explain the key things to know about suing a car dealership for the misrepresentation of the state of a used vehicle.

Cause of Action #1: Breach of Contract 

If a car dealership explicitly or implicitly agrees to sell a vehicle in a certain condition but the vehicle fails to meet these terms, this could constitute a breach of contract. For instance, if a dealership sells a car with the assurance that it has no major mechanical issues, but it turns out to have significant problems, the buyer may have grounds to sue for breach of contract.

 Cause of Action #2: Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) 

The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) protects consumers from deceptive, unfair, and otherwise unconscionable acts during business transactions. Misrepresenting a used vehicle’s condition falls under deceptive practices. Consumers can file a lawsuit under FDUTPA seeking damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs if they can prove unlawful deception.

Cause of Action #3: Motor Vehicle Retail Sales Finance Act (MVRSFA) 

The Motor Vehicle Retail Sales Finance Act (MVRSFA) regulates the financing of motor vehicle sales in Florida. The act includes provisions for full disclosure about the terms of the sale, including the condition of the vehicle. If a dealership fails to comply with these disclosure requirements—such as by hiding significant defects—it could provide a basis for a lawsuit under the MVRSFA.

As-is Language Does Not Protect Car Dealerships Against Specific Misrepresentations 

Most used cars in Florida are sold by dealerships with “as-in” language in the contract. Does that mean that you automatically have no claim against the company? The answer is no. You can still sue a used car dealership even if you bought a vehicle with “as-is” language. If you can prove that the dealership made specific misrepresentations to get you to purchase the vehicle, then you may be able to hold it legally liable for your damages.

 Contact Our FDUTPA Lawyer in South Florida for a Confidential Consultation

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our FDUTPA attorney is committed to putting the rights and interests of our clients first. If you have any questions about suing a used car dealership for misrepresentations about the value of a vehicle, we are here to help. Contact us today for your confidential case review. We provide FDUTPA representation throughout South Florida, including in Miami, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens.



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