How to Sue a Car Dealer for Misrepresentation

Sue Anyone in Small Claims Court How to Sue a Car Dealer for Misrepresentation

How to Sue a Car Dealer for Misrepresentation

Buying a car sounds like an exciting prospect, but in reality, it’s an exhausting process. By the time you reach the process of loan approval and contract signing, you’re just too tired that all you want is to drive away with the newly bought car. Some are lucky to find car dealers who do honest and professional work. But some will take advantage of exhausted buyers who don’t bother to read the terms of the contract.

This is where you can become victims of misrepresentation. When you find yourself in such a situation, there are some actions you can take. In this article, we will provide information on how to sue a car dealer for misrepresentation and how you can do so easily with DoNotPay.

Warning Signs To Look Out For

The stage in the buying process wherein customers are most vulnerable is towards the end. You are just too tired to read through a vast amount of paperwork, you are just ready to sign the contract and leave with your newly bought car. Only to find out that the car you bought at the dealership is not what the dealer has promised it to be. There are a few tactics that car dealers use to take advantage of customers. Here are some of the warning signs of fraud you need to be wary of:


What It’s Called What Usually Happens
Non-Disclosures This is when a car dealer illegally withholds information about the vehicle that affects its market value. For example, a car dealer does not inform the buyer that the car they are about to buy has been involved in an accident.
Affirmative Misrepresentation The car dealer adds or alters information to improve the vehicle’s appeal. For example, a car dealer may say the car has gone through regular check-ups when, in fact, it did not.
Yo-yo Financing This is when the car dealer calls you a few days after you have taken the car home to tell you that they have issues with the loan financing. They will then request more payments or increase the monthly payments.

Suing a Car Dealer for Fraudulent Misrepresentation

Fraudulent misrepresentation is when the car dealer makes false statements with the goal of you signing the contract. For example, a car dealer may lie about the accident history of a vehicle and you were led to believe the car was never involved in an accident (when, in fact, it was). Proving a fraudulent misrepresentation in court must fulfill the following aspects:

  • The car dealer made a fraudulent misrepresentation through written words, spoken words, gestures, body motions (such as a nod), or through silence or inaction
  • The car dealer knows that the representation was fraudulent or affirming a representation without knowing if it were true or not
  • The buyer believed the representation
  • The car dealer made the representation knowing that the buyer’s decision will be based on it
  • The representation was reasonable enough for the buyer to rely on it
  • The buyer suffered damages caused by relying on said representation

Suing a Car Dealer for Negligent Misrepresentation

If establishing fraudulent misrepresentation is difficult, you can still sue the car dealer for negligent misrepresentation. In this case, you only need to prove that the car dealer should have known that the representation was inaccurate, and not necessarily that he actually knew that the representation was incorrect. You must only establish that the car dealer made a reckless disregard for the truth and must fulfill the following aspects:

  • The car dealer made a representation
  • The representation was inaccurate
  • The car dealer should have known that the representation was wrong
  • The buyer believed the representation
  • The representation was reasonable enough for the buyer to rely on it
  • The buyer suffered damages caused by relying on said representation

Damages That You Can be Awarded

If you win the case, the monetary compensation that you will be awarded is called damages. If you can prove in small claims court that the car dealer engaged in misrepresentation, you could be awarded any or all of the following:

  1. A refund of your purchase
  2. Cancellations of any remaining loan balances or arrangements
  3. Compensation for illegal repossession of the vehicle, if applicable
  4. Compensation for court costs and legal fees, if applicable
  5. Punitive damages if the car dealer displayed violence
  6. Compensation for any repairs or checkups you have paid for

How to Sue a Car Dealership with DoNotPay

If you have been a victim of car dealer misrepresentation, the best way to collect damages is to sue in small claims court. Some states will require you to settle the dispute with the car dealer first or to contact a state consumer protection agency. Nonetheless, when you get to file a lawsuit, you’ll soon find that it involves a lot of bureaucracies and countless amounts of paperwork.

DoNotPay is a more streamlined way of suing. With our app, all you have to do is log in using any web browser. After that, we will help you:

  1. Ensure your claim qualifies for small claims court
  2. Draft and send a demand letter to the car dealership
  3. Fill out the court forms
  4. File your complaint form against the car dealership at the small claims court
  5. Serve the car dealer
  6. Show up for your court date

DoNotPay is Your Personal Lawyer

Aside from suing a creditor for incorrect reporting, DoNotPay can help you with day-to-day issues from cancellation of subscriptions to appealing parking tickets. Take a look at what else the robot lawyer can offer: