201710.10
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What if your Car Can’t be Repaired: Service Contract Breach

Often consumers call when their vehicles are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s factory warranty, but are covered under a “service contract.” Under Civil Code Section 1794(a), consumers can pursue a Court case if they are “damaged by a failure to comply with any obligation under [a]… service contract.” This is not a claim for…

201710.04
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The Shocking Truth About How Car Dealers Make Their Profit (Part Two): Dealer Holdbacks, Dealer Cash, Trade-Ins

Consumers are conditioned to look at the posted invoice price (or MSRP) of a car and assume that’s what the dealer paid for it, or that is fair and true price. Wrong. Manufacturer money, hidden money, is a game changer: No. 1, the Dealer holdback: This is money the manufacturer pays to the dealer only after a…

201710.04
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The Shocking Truth About How Car Dealers Make Money: Off of Servicing Your Vehicle, Arranging Your Financing, and Selling You “Extended Warranties” and other F&I Products

In 2015, financial results for the six publicly traded, new-car dealer groups in the United States showed that dealerships are in the business of selling cars so they can service them and finance them. Compared to the new-car department, gross profit margins for dealerships are much higher for service and parts, where they may have…

201710.03
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Carmax Fraud: Refusals to Allow Independent Inspection

The California Vehicle Code states all California car dealers must post notice of the consumer’s right to have any vehicle for sale inspected by third party. (Vehicle Code §§11709.1 and 11609.5.) Nevertheless, Carmax, one of the largest used car sellers in the state, has been refusing to allow consumers to have cars inspected. Know your…

201709.29
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Hot Topic: Buying Used Cars with Safety Recalls: Carmax and other Franchise Certified Pre-Owned Problems

AAA has come out with a warning for buyers of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles:  Buyers Beware!  Go to NHTSA.gov/recalls to find out if your CPO is recalled for a safety defect.  The manufacturer’s and dealers MAY NOT TELL YOU, and they may even be knowingly advertising recalled vehicles as CPOs!  Check out Peter Bohr’s expose in…

201709.29
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Car Dealer Fraud? Did You Know the Lender / Finance Company Is on the Hook for the Consumer’s Damages and Attorney’s Fees?

In the recent case, Medina v. South Coast Car Company, Fourth App. Dist., Div.5, 2017 DJDAR 939 (Sept. 25, 2017), a California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s judgment that Veros Credit, the lender on a fraudulent car sale, was held responsible for consumer damages and attorney’s fees through the “holder clause” that is…

201709.20
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Car Dealership Credit Report Scams and the Patriot Act

We are continually told by consumers that dealerships are required to run their credit, even sometimes claiming anti-terrorism laws require this! Not true. Some anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering rules require dealers to CHECK THE IDENTIFICATION of customers paying more than $10,000 in cash and to report to the IRS on Form 8300. BUT DEALERS DO…

201709.18
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Chrysler Ordered to Turn-Over Papers on Jeep Grand Cherokee Lemons

The closely watch case, Yelchin v. FCA US LLC, about the tragic death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, has a new development. FCA will have to turn over documents regarding the allegedly defective gear shifter in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. These documents may show what, if anything FCA did after receiving over 700 complaints…

201709.05
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California Lemon Law Guide: The Implied Warranty and Time Limits for Claims

Unless sold “As-Is,” all cars come with a warranty of fitness that is implied by law. Was the car frame-damaged or had some other latent defect at the time of sale? The implied warranty protects you. But for how long? Recent case law developments have clarified that, under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the lemon…

201709.04
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Car Dealers Can’t Use Immigration Status to Deny Equal Protection under California Consumer Protection Laws

Effective January 1, 2018, sleazy car dealers and other bad actor businesses can no longer attack consumers based on their immigration status as a defense to consumer rip-offs or consumer abuse by their business. AB 1690 was just signed in to law by Govenor Brown. The impetus for the bill was a case where a…