Understand Your Rights

Auto Fraud

Your rights are protected in slightly different ways when you buy a new car versus a used car. Generally, California's Lemon Law protects new car buyers. There are several other laws that work to protect buyers of used cars. The Fresno, California, Law Office of A.L. Hinton is ready to help you get your money back if you have been the victim of auto fraud or believe that you have purchased a lemon.

Lemon Law

California's Lemon Law requires that if the manufacturer or its authorized dealer is unable to repair a new motor vehicle after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer is required to promptly replace or buy back the vehicle. The problem with the vehicle must substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle, and the number of repair attempts required is typically four or more for the same problem. It is your choice, not the manufacturer's, whether to accept a replacement or a refund.

The Lemon Law applies for the entire period of your warranty, which means that if the vehicle is sold to another person during the warranty period, that person is also covered by the Lemon Law even though the car was sold as used. In other words, the warranty follows the car not the owner.

A common experience for consumers when asking a manufacturer to buy back a lemon is extreme frustration over delays and empty promises. You don't have to put up with that. The law is clear and I will fight for a timely resolution.

What Is Auto Fraud?

Among other things, a used car dealer has committed fraud if he or she has done any of the following:

  • Sold you a car that failed a safety inspection, or that was not inspected at all.
  • Failed to make certain disclosures to you before the sale, such as whether the car was being sold with a warranty or "as-is."
  • Demanded more money from you after you signed the purchase contract.
  • Failed to pay off the loan on your trade-in within 21 days.
  • Failed to pay DMV registration or title fees.

Beware The "Private Sale" Scam

Private car sales are not covered under California's consumer protection laws. Used car dealers know this and will sometimes sell a car as a private sale to avoid their legal obligation to conform to these laws. Dealers are disallowed from selling their inventory off their lot and from selling a car on their lot as a private sale. If you believe you are a victim of this scam, we may be able to ensure your rights are protected under the proper laws.

What I Can Do For You

As a consumer protection lawyer, I have the experience and skill you need to make things right. I will help you fight the dealership to get your money back and cancel the auto loan. Often, this is as simple as making a demand for the dealership to unwind the deal within 30 days. When the dealership refuses, I am prepared to take your case to court. I may also be able to help if your vehicle has been repossessed and the lender is suing you for the balance of your loan on a defective vehicle.

Stand Up For Your Rights

If you believe your rights have been violated, contact the Law Office of A.L. Hinton. To talk about your case with an attorney, call 559-717-4111 or email me through this website.

For great tips about avoiding common car dealer scams, check out my Blog.