Buying a used car always is a little bit of a gamble. You may choose to buy a car from an auto dealer because you feel better about that than buying one from a private party. However, auto dealers sometimes are sneaky and may try to sell you a car without disclosing its full repair history.
You may wonder after you’ve bought a used car whether it was in an undisclosed accident. You might discover that your car has been in a crash by noticing one of these issues:
- Problems with the car’s paint. Perhaps, one panel of the car is a slightly different color than the rest. That may be a sign that panel was repaired and repainted.
- Panel gaps. You may notice extra space between a fender and your car’s door, or other panels are misaligned. This can be a sign your vehicle was in a serious accident and needed significant bodywork.
- Your tires have uneven wear. Uneven wear can show that your car is out of alignment or that its body may not be straight (the latter is a sign your car has been in a wreck).
- You notice the car has new parts on the underside or under the hood. If you notice shiny parts next to those with more weathering and wear, that can be a sign those items were replaced due to an accident.
Most consumers don’t realize that an auto dealer that doesn’t disclose a car’s accident history may be committing fraud. If you feel that your car’s undisclosed accident significantly impacts its value, you may want to consult a consumer protection attorney. Attorneys who understand auto dealer fraud can help you cancel the sale or recover the difference between what your car is worth and what you paid for it.