Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

New Jersey Car Dealer Rip Offs FAQs

INTRODUCTION
Read below to learn more about this topic.  Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send him an email.  Warning – this article does not necessarily include every New Jersey court rule, code or law that may apply to your New Jersey case!  The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws.  Before taking any action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney.  Court addresses, hours of operation and directions may change so check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going there!  Some of the webpages on this site don’t apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!


NEW JERSEY CAR DEALER RIP OFFS FAQS
New Jersey car dealer rip offs occur when a New Jersey car dealer commits certain misconduct when selling cars in New Jersey:
False advertising in New Jersey Used Car services
Misrepresentations in the sale of New Jersey Used Cars
Misrepresentations in the performance of New Jersey Used Car contracts
New Jersey odometer fraud or odometer rollback
Fail to buy back a New Jersey car that fails to pass New Jersey inspection.
Fail to buy back a New Jersey used car lemon.


WHAT DOES THE TERM “AS IS” MEAN IN NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALES?
Under the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, "as is" means a used motor vehicle is sold by a dealer to a consumer without any warranty, either express or implied, and with the New Jersey used car buyer being solely responsible for the cost of any repairs to that motor vehicle.


DO THE WORDS “AS IS” LET A NEW JERSEY CAR DEALER SCAM YOU BY SELLING YOU A CAR WITH PROBLEMS?
New Jersey car dealer rip offs often involve a dealer trying to hide behind the words “as is” printed on a New Jersey car purchase contract.  Simply because a New Jersey used car sale contract has the words “as is” on the contract does not mean that a New Jersey used car dealer can commit New Jersey fraud when selling a New Jersey used car to a New Jersey used car buyer.  New Jersey law does not encourage fraud in the sale of New Jersey used cars.  Instead, New Jersey law protects New Jersey used car buyers.  Don’t be a victim of a New Jersey car dealer scam involving “as is” language!


NEW JERSEY CAR DEALER NEW JERSEY USED CAR LEMON LAW RIP OFFS
New Jersey car dealer rip offs often involve the following acts or omissions in New Jersey used car sales that are subject to the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law:
Misrepresent the mechanical condition of a New Jersey used car;
Fail to disclose, prior to sale, any material defect in the mechanical condition of the New Jersey used car which is known to the New Jersey used car dealer;
Represent that a New Jersey used car, or any component thereof, is free from material defects in mechanical condition at the time of sale, unless the New Jersey used car dealer has a reasonable basis for representation when made;
Fail to disclose, prior to sale, the existence and terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance subject to transfer, known to the New Jersey used car dealer, in effect & provided by a third party. 
Misrepresent the terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance currently in effect on a New Jersey used car provided by a person other than the New Jersey used car dealer and subject to transfer.
Fail to disclose, prior to sale, the existence & terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered by the New Jersey used car dealer in connection with the sale of a New Jersey used car;
Misrepresent the terms of any warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered with the sale of a New Jersey used car;
Represent, prior to sale, that a New Jersey used  car is sold with a warranty, service contract or repair insurance when the New Jersey car is sold without any warranty, service contract or repair insurance;
Fail to disclose, prior to sale, that a New Jersey used car is sold without any warranty, service contract, or repair insurance; and
Fail to provide a clear written explanation, prior to sale, of what is meant by the term “as is,” if the New Jersey used car is sold “as is.” 


NEW JERSEY CAR DEALER USED CAR WARRANTY RIP OFFS UNDER THE NEW JERSEY USED CAR LEMON LAW
New Jersey car dealer rip offs often involve the following misconduct involving New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law warranties:
For all New Jersey used cars sold for more than $3,000, less than seven or more model years old, that were not been declared a total loss by an insurance company and with respect to which the New Jersey lemon buyer was so advised at time of sale in writing of same and that have 100,000 miles or less, the selling New Jersey used car dealer commits a per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation unless they give the New Jersey lemon buyer a written powertrain type of warranty with certain minimum durations subject to the New Jersey used car’s mileage.
The New Jersey consumer may waive the warranty in writing via a specific type of waiver.
If the New Jersey used car dealer fails to give a written warranty required by the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law and the New Jersey consumer does not sign a waiver as provided by the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, the New Jersey used car dealer nevertheless shall be deemed to have given the warranty.
If, during the warranty issued by the New Jersey used car dealer pursuant to the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, the New Jersey used car dealer or the New Jersey used car dealer’s agent fails to correct a material defect after a reasonable opportunity to repair the New Jersey used car, the New Jersey used car dealer shall repurchase the New Jersey used car and provide a refund less a use allowance.


NEW JERSEY CAR INSPECTION RIP OFFS
New Jersey car dealer rip offs often involve a New Jersey car failing to pass inspection.  Did you buy a New Jersey used car from a New Jersey used car dealer and it failed a New Jersey car inspection.   Many New Jersey used car buyers buy a New Jersey used car and then try to get it inspected only to learn that the New Jersey used car failed a New Jersey car inspection.   Repairs to a New Jersey used car to get it in shape to pass a New Jersey Car Inspection may cost thousands of dollars and time lost while the New Jersey used car is undergoing repairs.  You can’t legally drive a New Jersey used car that fails a New Jersey car inspection on New Jersey roads for very long!  Don’t be a victim of a New Jersey car inspection scam!   The New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law provides certain New Jersey used car buyers protections against cars that fail to pass inspection.


NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER’S OBLIGATION TO SELL NEW JERSEY USED CARS THAT MEET NEW JERSEY INSPECTION STANDARDS
Unless otherwise provided in the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law, no New Jersey used car dealer shall sell at retail any used passenger New Jersey used car to be registered in New Jersey, unless the New Jersey used car meets the standards for the issuance of a certificate of approval as provided in the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Statutes.  


NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER’S OBLIGATION TO ASK NEW JERSEY USED CAR BUYER IF THEY ARE GOING TO REGISTER THE NEW JERSEY USED CAR IN NEW JERSEY IN ITS PRESENT CONDITION AND TO MAKE DISCLOSURES
Prior to entering into any agreement for the retail sale of a New Jersey used car, the New Jersey used car dealer shall inquire as to whether the New Jersey used car to be purchased is intended for registration in this New Jersey in the condition sold and, if so, such fact shall be specified in the written agreement between the New Jersey used car dealer and the New Jersey used car buyer and the New Jersey used car dealer, prior to execution of the New Jersey used car sale agreement, shall inform the New Jersey used car buyer of the New Jersey used car dealer's responsibilities under the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law. 


WAIVER OF NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER’S OBLIGATION TO SELL NEW JERSEY USED CARS THAT MEET NEW JERSEY CAR INSPECTION STANDARDS
Any New Jersey used car retail sale agreement may contain a provision whereby the New Jersey used car buyer waives the New Jersey used car dealer's obligation under section 2 of the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law; provided, however, any such waiver must be separately stated in the New Jersey used car agreement of retail sale and separately signed by the New Jersey used car buyer.  The signing of such a waiver by the New Jersey used car buyer shall also serve to eliminate any criminal responsibility placed upon any New Jersey used car dealer by the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law.


WHAT HAPPENS IF A NEW JERSEY USED CAR FAILS INSPECTION AND I DID NOT SIGN A WAIVER OF MY RIGHT TO HAVE THE NEW JERSEY USED CAR PASS INSPECTION?
In the event that any such New Jersey used car is sold at retail and has any defect, which results in its rejection for failure to meet the standards for issuance of such a certificate of approval, in the absence of a waiver as provided in the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law, the New Jersey used car dealer shall make, or cause to be made, all the necessary repairs, without charge, or return the full purchase price to the New Jersey used car buyer; provided that such defect or defects are not the result of the New Jersey used car buyer’s own act.  Also, any New Jersey Used Car dealer who fails to comply with the provisions of the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law is a disorderly person.


WHAT IS NEW JERSEY ODOMETER FRAUD?
New Jersey odometer fraud (which is often a type of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation) generally involves someone tampering with or altering the mileage that is stated on a vehicle’s odometer – the gauge that measures how many miles that the vehicle travels whenever it is moving.  New Jersey odometer fraud is usually committed to deceive a New Jersey vehicle buyer of a vehicle into believing that a vehicle has traveled fewer miles than is actually the case.  To prohibit New Jersey odometer fraud and to protect motor vehicle purchasers, under the Federal Odometer Law, the following conduct if committed intentionally may be fraud:
Advertising, selling, using, installing or having installed in a motor vehicle a device that causes its odometer to register the wrong mileage.
Disconnecting, resetting, altering or having disconnected, reset or altered a motor vehicle’s odometer in order to change the actual mileage stated on the odometer.
Operating a motor vehicle if the operator knows that its odometer is disconnected or not operating if the action is taken with the intent to defraud.
Removing or altering a notice attached to a motor vehicle as required by the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act, if the action is taken with the intent to defraud.
Engaging in a conspiracy to violate the odometer repair and odometer disclosure sections of the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act.


A New Jersey used car dealer can be held responsible for New Jersey odometer fraud.


MANDATORY DISCLOSURES FOR NEW JERSEY CARS UNDER THE FEDERAL ODOMETER LAW?
Anyone who repairs or replaces an odometer and it no longer registers the same mileage as before its repair or replacement, the person must adjust the odometer to the “0” mark and then place a disclosure sticker on the vehicle’s left door frame.
Anyone transferring ownership of a motor vehicle must give the new person taking ownership written disclosure:  (1) of the vehicle’s mileage and attest to the accuracy of the mileage figure; or (2) that the mileage is unknown; or (3) the mileage stated on the vehicle’s odometer is incorrect.  Unless the vehicle’s certificate of title is in possession of a lienholder, this disclosure must be made on the vehicle’s certificate of title.  If a lienholder has the certificate of title in its possession, the person transferring title to the motor vehicle may use a written power of attorney (if allowed by State law) to make the appropriate disclosure.  In addition, the new person taking ownership of the vehicle must be given a copy of the disclosure statement.
Anyone leasing a motor vehicle must provide an odometer disclosure statement to the lessor when the lessor transfers ownership of the vehicle.
Motor vehicle dealers and lessors must keep odometer disclosure statements for a period of 5 years.
Motor vehicle auction companies must keep records of buyers, sellers, odometer readings and vehicle identification numbers for vehicles that are sold through the auction companies for a period of 4 years.
 
WHEN ARE NEW JERSEY CARS EXEMPT FROM THE FEDERAL ODOMETER LAW?
Vehicles with a gross weight of over 16,000 pounds or that or 10 years or older are exempt from the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act.
Certain requirements of the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act (those of subsections (b) and (c)(1)) do not apply if the State where the transfer of the vehicle occurs has in effect alternate motor vehicle mileage disclosure requirements approved by the Secretary of Transportation. 


WHAT ARE THE DAMAGES NEW JERSEY ODOMETER FRAUD VICTIMS MIGHT RECOVER?
 If a person is the victim of another’s intentional violation of the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act, the wronged person may bring a case against the wrongdoer in the Superior Court of New Jersey. If the victim wins the New Jersey used car fraud case, the victim can recover money damages in the amount of 3 times their actual damages or $1,500.00 plus reasonable attorney's fees and court costs, including the fees for filing the New Jersey used car fraud case. There are strict time limits within which the victim must file the New Jersey used car fraud case.
 New Jersey odometer fraud may also be a violation of other consumer protection statutes, such as the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  In proper cases, such as where a person proves that as a direct result of the commission of New Jersey odometer fraud, they lost property or a sum of money capable of being calculated with reasonable certainty, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act permits the New Jersey Used Car buyer to recover money damages in the amount of 3 times their actual loss plus reasonable attorney’s fees and certain costs.


WHAT PENALTIES DO NEW JERSEY CAR DEALERS FACE IF THEY VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
Many New Jersey car dealers who commit certain types of New Jersey car rip offs violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.   The following are some of the remedies that New Jersey car buyers may be entitled to under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by dealers to collect a fraudulent debt.
Refund of money lost due to the New Jersey Used Car dealer’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.


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