We frequently meet with new clients who are victims of auto dealer fraud. Many of them have done on-line research about the dealership before they meet with us, and they have discovered that many other consumers have also been ripped-off. Unfortunately, they didn't do that research before they shopped for a car.
Many of our clients are outraged that car dealerships are allowed to engage in blatant fraud, seemingly without consequence. Indeed, there is a common perception that if a business like a car dealership acts fraudulently, the state DMV or some other government agency will step in and put the crooks out of business. But, that seldom happens. Many consumers ask me "How can this go on?" or "Why doesn't the state do something about this?"
These are good questions. And, many of my clients are surprised when I tell them that it is their fault. Not them specifically, but the public at large. The government has not aggressively gone after crooked car dealerships because the public has not demanded that it do so.
When clients ask me these questions, I ask them if they have ever contacted their state representative or state senator to let them know about an issue that is important to them. Most of them have not done so, and many do not even know the names of their elected representatives.
Most state legislators have at least one car dealership in their district, and some have more than a dozen dealerships. The dealerships have a lobbyist who works on their behalf, and the owners of those dealerships are much more likely than the average citizen to make sure their representatives know the issues that are important to them.
Our elected representatives hear plenty from the car dealerships, but they hear almost nothing from the fraud victims. So, it is not surprising that stopping auto dealer fraud is not a higher government priority.
If every victim of auto dealer fraud called or emailed their state representative and their state senator, then this problem would get the attention that it deserves. Have you been a victim? Then make a few calls! Connecticut residents can connect with their elected representatives by using this link.