An undisclosed crash could majorly affect a vehicle’s value

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Auto Dealer Fraud

Those looking to buy a used vehicle place a lot of trust in the dealerships they patronize. They expect the salespeople there to fully and accurately disclose the vehicle’s history and report any known issues with the vehicle. They also probably expect that the price set for the vehicle reflects its current condition and driving history. After all, Connecticut state law regulates the conduct of auto dealers by imposing certain requirements, like a need to disclose vehicle issues to buyers.

Unfortunately, the profit incentive motivating most salespeople and dealerships can lead to overtly unethical conduct. Dealerships may try to gloss over a vehicle’s history by listing it for sale as-is. Eager salespeople might even intentionally lie about a major crash involving the vehicle. Buyers might assume that they could identify a vehicle involved in a crash, but it is possible for dealerships to cover up serious vehicle damage with cosmetic repairs. An undisclosed collision could lead to a very unfavorable vehicle purchase.

Vehicles involved in crashes have lower value

A collision can affect many aspects of a vehicle’s worth. For example, a serious crash could have done damage to the vehicle’s frame. Attempts to repair that damage might make it driveable, but the vehicle may never be as safe as it was before the collision. Most buyers consider vehicle safety a top priority when deciding what vehicle to buy and how much they are willing to pay.

Therefore, vehicles involved in major crashes typically command far lower prices on the open market. A price drop of thousands of dollars is common if buyers discover a collision, and repairs do not necessarily undo that drop in value. Those who don’t know about a vehicle’s history, possibly due to a salesperson’s intentional misrepresentation, could overpay or buy the wrong vehicle.

The unfortunate reality for used car buyers is that they need to know a vehicle’s history to ensure that the amount they offer for it is appropriate. If a particular vehicle incurred massive damage in a crash, they may need to take legal action. Whether they purchased a vehicle history report too late or hear from their mechanic about hidden damage that obviously resulted from a crash, they may have grounds for an auto dealer fraud lawsuit.

A successful lawsuit might lead to compensation for the difference in value between what someone paid and what a vehicle is worth given its history. Understanding the factors that influence the value of a personal vehicle may benefit those who have recently uncovered undisclosed vehicle defects.