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      11-18-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
Antilag
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Virginia State law question regarding Auto Fraud...M3 involved

Does anyone know, own, or have family that works for a Dealership in the state of Virginia? I have a serious matter at hand regarding my M3 and the dealer I purchased it from, and need to ask a few questions to someone who is familiar with the laws in Virgina regarding Auto Sales Fraud. If anyone can help out, please let me know .

Here is the story.....

I purchased my M3 from a Dealership in Virginia..well known dealer, not a "fly by night" type of dealer. Used, was presented what I thought to be a clean Carfax report. Promised by the seller that the car was in pristine shape, ran well..which it did. Well I've owned the car for a couple months now and yesterday while changing my oil I noticed there was a little spot of the rear bumper that looked like it had been repainted. So, I decided to run my own carfax report...mind you I bought the car on June 6th, 2011..

The carfax showed on October 7th, 2010 the car was involved in a front and rear end collision, airbags were deployed and the vehicle was towed from the scene. I contacted my Insurance company to run the VIN through the claims database and they found out that the accident caused over $17,000 in damages.

I am livid to say the least, this was not disclosed to me at the time of purchase and had to of been on the Carfax report. I'm pretty certain the dealer had to of faked the Carfax report. Regardless, nothing was signed stating the car had damage and furthermore the vehicle was sold to me for Fair Market Value when it clearly was not worth Fair Market Value due to having that amount of damage. I am going after the dealership for Auto Sales Fraud.
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      11-18-2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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Was this in NoVa? If so, PM Cptn Mo 703, his name is Mustafa, he lives up in NoVa and knows a lot of people up there. Hope this will help. Sorry that they did that to you. That really sucks. Hope that you can get it resolved soon.

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      11-18-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Yes, this was in Northern VA. Thanks for the info.
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      11-18-2011, 08:07 PM   #4
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He lives in Fairfax. You know, that is fraud, for what they did. Falsefying documents like that. If I were you, I would get a lawyer and see your options. Don't let them get away with stuff like that.
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      11-18-2011, 08:41 PM   #5
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Holy crap that's messed up.

Lawyer up, sue the hell out of the dealership and get yourself a new car.
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      11-18-2011, 08:54 PM   #6
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Sorry to hear what they did to you. Better lawyer up. Let us know what finally happens. Good luck.
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      11-18-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by username11 View Post
Surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but it's highly unlikely a reputable dealer falsified the CarFax report. CarFax adds information from the past all the time. It takes a long time for information to show up. If the accident happened in October of 2010 it is no surprise it was not on the report in June of 2011. Likely the CarFax was clean when the car was purchased. CarFax is notorious for providing a false sense of security in this manner.

This happened with a beater Integra I had. When I purchased it it had a clean CarFax (yet was about three shades of silver, duh). Years later when I went to sell it CarFax had added several records from the years before I purchased it which included frame damage! I traded it into a dealership who apparently did not run a CarFax as they gave me quite a nice price.

REALLY shitty situation (why I would never be able to sleep if I bought an expensive used car) but guessing no fraud involved by the dealer.
First, I would be mad as hell if I were in Antilag's shoes. And this sucks more ways that we can list, not to mention diminished value and all that.

However, as has been pointed out, the fact that the car incurred damage that wasn't on the Carfax that was shown doesn't mean the dealer committed fraud. That's not a conclusion that should be jumped to IMO.

This can and does happen. My car was involved in a serious accident. When I went to sell it 4 months later there was still nothing in Carfax. (And yes, I did disclose the accident to the dealer, it's how I operate.) For grins, I looked 6 months after the fact still nothing! (Haven't checked again.)

Carfax "sells" itself as a cure-all for preventing this type of situation. It's not. That's marketing at work. The only real protection when buying a used car is a very good PPI that includes paint inspection. Carfax is pretty much a joke designed to sell as many Carfax reports as possible.

Antilag, do you have a copy of the Carfax from the sale? Carfax is on the line, as they claim to provide a "clean car" or they'll buy it back from what I recall seeing. If you have a copy, you may have a better chance of a claim against them than the dealer.

It may also be wise to contact the dealer and see what they have to say on the matter with this information in hand. Why jump to fraud and lawyers without some discussion first--that may be necessary--but lawyers are not free.
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      11-18-2011, 10:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by username11 View Post
Surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but it's highly unlikely a reputable dealer falsified the CarFax report. CarFax adds information from the past all the time. It takes a long time for information to show up. If the accident happened in October of 2010 it is no surprise it was not on the report in June of 2011. Likely the CarFax was clean when the car was purchased. CarFax is notorious for providing a false sense of security in this manner.

This happened with a beater Integra I had. When I purchased it it had a clean CarFax (yet was about three shades of silver, duh). Years later when I went to sell it CarFax had added several records from the years before I purchased it which included frame damage! I traded it into a dealership who apparently did not run a CarFax as they gave me quite a nice price.

REALLY shitty situation (why I would never be able to sleep if I bought an expensive used car) but guessing no fraud involved by the dealer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
First, I would be mad as hell if I were in Antilag's shoes. And this sucks more ways that we can list, not to mention diminished value and all that.

However, as has been pointed out, the fact that the car incurred damage that wasn't on the Carfax that was shown doesn't mean the dealer committed fraud. That's not a conclusion that should be jumped to IMO.

This can and does happen. My car was involved in a serious accident. When I went to sell it 4 months later there was still nothing in Carfax. (And yes, I did disclose the accident to the dealer, it's how I operate.) For grins, I looked 6 months after the fact still nothing! (Haven't checked again.)

Carfax "sells" itself as a cure-all for preventing this type of situation. It's not. That's marketing at work. The only real protection when buying a used car is a very good PPI that includes paint inspection. Carfax is pretty much a joke designed to sell as many Carfax reports as possible.

Antilag, do you have a copy of the Carfax from the sale? Carfax is on the line, as they claim to provide a "clean car" or they'll buy it back from what I recall seeing. If you have a copy, you may have a better chance of a claim against them than the dealer.

It may also be wise to contact the dealer and see what they have to say on the matter with this information in hand. Why jump to fraud and lawyers without some discussion first--that may be necessary--but lawyers are not free.
The Two smartest people on here.. Its buyer-be-ware if youy dont know what to look for maybe you should get a second opinion. You would be surprised how many Carfaxes I pull that show clean but are clearly two shades of the same color, but I always show them he Carfax and show them that in fact there is paint work on it..
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      11-18-2011, 11:29 PM   #9
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Car Fax Buy back? Google how many of them they have actually done..I think it's 1.

Back to the main topic. If the dealership knew the car had been in an accident, and didn't disclose it to you IF YOU ASKED, that is fraud. You must ask very specifically though! You have to ask "has the car been in an accident?", "Is the car accident free?". You must also prove that they knew about the accident. Simply asking for the Carfax isn't enough to qualify for asking about any accidents.
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      11-18-2011, 11:59 PM   #10
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Guys I appreciate the input, the dealer kept the Carfax report. However, I have just spoken with other owners of Dealers in the VA area tonight. The jist I have gotten so far is VA law requires severe accidents to be disclosed to the perspective buyer. It takes about 90 days for a claim to post to carfax, seeing as the accident was in October 2010 that would be plenty of time to be on the report by June 2011. I'm just extremely upset because the car now has a diminished value and that puts me in an unwanted spot.
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      11-19-2011, 12:14 AM   #11
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Lawyer and see what options you have.
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      11-19-2011, 01:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robb7979 View Post
Car Fax Buy back? Google how many of them they have actually done..I think it's 1.

Back to the main topic. If the dealership knew the car had been in an accident, and didn't disclose it to you IF YOU ASKED, that is fraud. You must ask very specifically though! You have to ask "has the car been in an accident?", "Is the car accident free?". You must also prove that they knew about the accident. Simply asking for the Carfax isn't enough to qualify for asking about any accidents.
Good question re: "how many". Look like "next to none". Like I said, Carfax is marketing, not "facts". Assuming they've done only 1 buyback that pretty much proves it. (I trust your Google skills.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antilag View Post
Guys I appreciate the input, the dealer kept the Carfax report. However, I have just spoken with other owners of Dealers in the VA area tonight. The jist I have gotten so far is VA law requires severe accidents to be disclosed to the perspective buyer. It takes about 90 days for a claim to post to carfax, seeing as the accident was in October 2010 that would be plenty of time to be on the report by June 2011. I'm just extremely upset because the car now has a diminished value and that puts me in an unwanted spot.
I still don't buy the 90 days to Carfax posting, since in my case it didn't happen in that timeframe, and I'm aware of several other cases where it didn't happen in that timeframe (or ever). That doesn't really matter though, since the car was involved in a significant accident (17k is that in anyone's book). And it would appear that the dealership should have disclosed it.

Where this gets tricky is intent and the willfulness (or lack thereof) of the dealer. If the seller didn't disclose the accident to the dealer, and the work was good enough not to be noticed by a reasonable person (which apparently it was), did the dealer have a responsibility to investigate the potential of an accident before sale? Probably not, and they may say they did necessary due diligence by virtue of the "Carfax". Did the seller have a legal responsibility to disclose to the dealer?

Somewhere in here there is a party at fault, but who that is exactly is a bit of an open question. And as noted above, it all depends on the law in terms of who has to disclose, who has to ask, etc. Given all of these factors and possible entanglements, and potential for one or more parties to be at fault, sadly it seems that legal help will be required. At the end of the day you should not be stuck with this problem. Consumer protection laws exist to provide protection in cases like these--just how strong that is depends on the particular state.

Again, this really really stinks. I would be really well beyond angry, and your composed attitude and approach are commendable. My best wishes for a speedy resolution to this.

Last edited by Finnegan; 11-19-2011 at 03:15 AM.
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      11-19-2011, 05:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antilag View Post
Well I've owned the car for a couple months now and yesterday while changing my oil I noticed there was a little spot of the rear bumper that looked like it had been repainted. So, I decided to run my own carfax report...mind you I bought the car on June 6th, 2011..

The carfax showed on October 7th, 2010 the car was involved in a front and rear end collision, airbags were deployed and the vehicle was towed from the scene. I contacted my Insurance company to run the VIN through the claims database and they found out that the accident caused over $17,000 in damages.

I am livid to say the least, this was not disclosed to me at the time of purchase and had to of been on the Carfax report. I'm pretty certain the dealer had to of faked the Carfax report. Regardless, nothing was signed stating the car had damage and furthermore the vehicle was sold to me for Fair Market Value when it clearly was not worth Fair Market Value due to having that amount of damage
. I am going after the dealership for Auto Sales Fraud.
Sorry to hear about this. A Carfax report is not the only way to demonstrate a dealer might've committed fraud. A dealership has a duty to inspect cars they sell on their lot and not rely on carfax reports alone. A good dealer will take a trade in into their service bay and inspect the car for accidents and other issues. It seems from your description that some of the damages were not latent and could've been discovered upon reasonable inspection. So, the dealer might still be on the hook for telling you the car was accident free. Carfax might also be liable for the inaccurate report. You might want to consult with an atty to determine your options-- the consultation might be free

Am not trying to blame you, but did you look at the car carefully for accidents prior to buying it? Cause you also had a duty to look for visible damages to the car and not rely on the dealer's claim.
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      11-19-2011, 05:50 AM   #14
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Get a lawyer and have him deal with the dealership. They might agree on the bad report from Carfax and find a good solution (i.e. trade the car). Give them a chance... In turn, they will probably go after the previous owner.
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      11-19-2011, 06:15 AM   #15
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I agree with those here that say you shouldn't just arm yourself with lawyers right away and go after the dealer. If you do this right off the bat, you will lose any chance you have of an amicable (and less expensive) solution.

I would:

Go to the dealer, explain the situation, and ask, "What can we do about this?" "How can we make this right". If that gets you nowhere, you might on to things like "This doesn't look good for your dealership, with the way people have access to information these days" or "Is there any way we can resolve this without lawyers?"

If they still don't respond, go for the kill, if you do in fact determine that you have a case.

Of course, with all the corruption we keep discovering in this country (and the world), I wouldn't be surprised if there is some sort of under-the-table financial kickback between dealers and car-fax to provide "clean" records to facilitate sales.
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      11-19-2011, 09:50 AM   #16
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What I did find out is the car went to auction. The dealer I purchased the car from bought it from a PA auction.
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      11-19-2011, 10:03 AM   #17
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What I did find out is the car went to auction. The dealer I purchased the car from bought it from a PA auction.
I take it this was NOT a BMW dealership?
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      11-19-2011, 10:08 AM   #18
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No, it was a Volkswagen dealership.
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      11-19-2011, 10:33 AM   #19
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Hope you did a Pre-Purchase Inspection at a trusted shop before you bought the car....

a PPI would have likely caught this.
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      11-20-2011, 01:51 PM   #20
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I am going to contact a lawyer tomorrow, or atleast get the ball rolling. Does anyone in the VA area know of any good consumer fraud Lawyers?
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      11-20-2011, 03:31 PM   #21
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In some states Carfax is only notified once a year, other states its every 6 months. It depends on the insurance company and what state they are operating in. You can contact Carfax to see how often they get reports from Virginia.
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      11-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #22
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I think you're wasting your time. How are you going to prove the undocumented repair caused you harm?
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