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Auto Dealer Archives

Unsafe Car Sold by A Better Way Wholesale Autos

Gavel.bmpThe Connecticut Appellate Court has dismissed an appeal filed by an auto dealer, A Better Way Wholesale Autos. In its appeal, the dealership was attempting to throw out an arbitrator's decision that the 2004 Mercedes E 500 that it had sold to a Connecticut consumer was not safe to drive

Auto Dealer Sued for Promising Used Car Could Tow a Trailer

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for used car signs.jpgA Wisconsin couple has sued an auto dealership for promising them that a used Mazda 5 station wagon could tow a trailer. The couple wanted to tow a trailer in order to transport an electric wheelchair. The lawsuit alleges that the dealership repeatedly assured them that the vehicle could tow the trailer, and it even installed a hitch for that purpose.

When Auto Dealers Break the Law

forgery.jpgIndustry insiders know that some auto dealerships regularly engage in criminal activity. For example, one employee of a large Connecticut dealership recently confirmed to me that dealership employees routinely forge signatures; he said that forging a signature was "like smoking a cigarette," something done many times a day.   

Auto Dealer Fraud Higher For Cheaper Cars

Incidents of fraud by auto dealers are higher for lower priced cars, according to a recent study.  The study, which was conducted by iSeeCars.com, evaluated millions of advertised vehicles and determined that the lower the price, the greater the likelihood that there was fraud relating to the vehicle's history or condition.  

Buying Former Rental Cars: Good Deal or Big Headache?

Car rental companies owned nearly 2 million in 2013, and most of those rentals will be resold on the consumer market. Some rental companies have retail divisions that sell former rentals directly to consumers. Many of those cars can be a good deal, and many rental companies offer a decent warranty.

Games Dealers Play: Dealer Conveyance Fees

One of the biggest tricks in the car business is the "dealer conveyance fee," which is supposed to compensate the dealership for its costs in processing the paperwork, taking care of the registration, and closing the deal. About 20 years ago, dealer conveyance fees were modest, with most dealerships charging less than $100. But, starting around the late 1990's, a few dealerships started to charge more. Others followed, and before long, many were charging $299 or more. The dealerships that kept their rates reasonable suffered from unfair competition, because other dealerships advertised cars at lower prices, only to make up the difference by charging a higher conveyance fee. So, more dealerships increased their fees to match their competitors. Soon, other dealerships raised their prices even higher. Today, we have some dealerships charging as much as $799, or about 10X the amount charged by many dealerships as recently as 15 years ago!

Games Dealers Play: VIN Etching

Car Window.jpgOne trick played by auto dealers to boost their profits is to charge customers to etch the vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the windows of a car. The VIN is a 17 digit number that is unique to a specific motor vehicle. There is some evidence that car thieves are less likely to take a car with the VIN etched on the windows, and some insurance companies offer discounts for comprehensive insurance premiums if a car has VIN etching. So, this service may have some value.

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