Things to watch out for when buying a used car in Tennessee

By: The Nevin Law Firm

Caveat emptor, or let the buyer beware, is an important principle to take into consideration when you are purchasing a vehicle. Although the state of Tennessee enacted a Consumer Protection Act, it is still much less stressful and time consuming to do proper due diligence upfront, to avoid unnecessary hassles. There are some important steps that you should take before buying a used car to minimize your risk of buying an unsafe vehicle or even a lemon.

Modern technology has made it significantly easier to do research and see what a used car has been through with previous owners. Has the vehicle been in an accident? Is it a lemon? Does it have a clear title? Services like Carfax are inexpensive and allow consumers to view the vehicle history before making a purchase. Reputable Nashville auto dealerships often provide the Carfax report to you free of charge.

Another technological resource at your disposal is internet search engines. You should search the make and model of the vehicle you are considering to see what consumer reports say about the car. Past recalls or histories of issues offer insight about what to look for and what to avoid.

Because the internet and Carfax are not 100% accurate, bringing the car to a trusted mechanic is a wise investment before making an expensive vehicle purchase. A trained mechanic will look for evidence of past accidents, structural damage, engine problems and electrical issues. Your mechanic helps ensure the vehicle will be dependable and safe and measures up to the dealerships claims.

Before finalizing a sale and signing the title, it is a good idea to read it first. Dishonest used car dealers can be misleading about the extent of damage to a vehicle that has been involved in an accident. It is illegal to sell a car with a salvaged title to a consumer who plans on driving the car, without full disclosure. If the buyer is not planning to drive it, but plans on fixing it, the vehicle can be sold, as long as the salvage title was disclosed. If a dealership has not properly disclosed a salvaged title, a consumer can return the car for a full refund.

Dealers may be slow to apply for a rebuilt title, or disregard it overall, as it requires filing specific paperwork and paying a fee. They have to provide photos of the damaged vehicle, shown both before and after repairs, outline details of the damage and the repairs and provide receipts for all parts and labor to verify the repairs were made. In addition, the state sends an investigator out to inspect the vehicle prior to assigning the new, rebuilt title.

The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act is a good last resort for car buyers that have been taken advantage of by dishonest Nashville car dealerships. However, you want to be vigilant prior to purchase. Taking a few simple steps before buying a vehicle can protect you from making a big mistake.

Nashville Consumer Protection Attorneys Hold Car Dealerships Accountable for Selling Unfit Vehicles

By The Nevin Law firm

Enforcing the Consumer Protection Act against dishonest auto dealers

When purchasing a used vehicle from a dealership, you have the right to know if that vehicle is in good working condition, been in a wreck or totaled, and that you are able to safely drive it. Tennessee law imposes strict penalties on car dealerships that put you and your family at risk by knowingly selling you a car that is potentially unsafe for regular driving. The consumer protection attorneys at The Nevin Law Firm in Nashville safeguard consumers who have fallen prey to unscrupulous used car dealers. We help right the wrong when dealerships violate your trust and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

How does the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act help if a car dealership sells you a lemon?

Tennessee legislators enacted the Consumer Protection Act to protect car buyers from dealers that conceal the accurate histories of the cars they sell. When a car dealership violates the Act, you have the right to take legal action to recover monetary compensation. If you feel that you have been misled or taken advantage of by a Tennessee car dealer, speak with our Nashville consumer protection attorney. We will review your claim and determine your best course of legal action. The damages you can recover for a Consumer Protection Act violation in Tennessee include:

  • Amount paid for the car
  • Additional monetary damages, up to three times the price paid for the car
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court costs

How do businesses violate the Tennessee Consumer Protections Act?

The Tennessee Consumer Protections Act places several duties on used car dealerships when it comes to vehicles that have been involved in an accident. Cars must be re-titled as rebuilt if the car was totaled out after an accident. Even classifying it as a salvaged title is a violation of the Act. Additionally, dealerships cannot knowingly mislead a customer concerning the history of the vehicle they are trying to sell. For example, a dealership is in violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protections Act if they tell you a car had only minor damage from an accident when in fact, the damage was severe enough for the vehicle to be totaled out by an insurance company. A knowledgeable Nashville consumer lawyer can help you get justice if you have been taken advantage of by a dishonest car dealership. Tennessee law clearly outlines your rights as a consumer when dealerships endanger you and your family with a defective vehicle.

Our Nashville consumer protection attorneys are on your side

At The Nevin Law Firm, our attorneys provide personalized attention and strong advocacy when you have been wronged. We take the time to listen to your dispute and help you determine the best course of action to recover compensation. Contact us online or call us at 615-244-7708 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our office is located in downtown Nashville, near the Tennessee state capitol, across the street from the Old Historic Courthouse. Ample parking is available.