auto fraud

5 Things Oregon Car Buyers Should Know About "Add-Ons" & 3 Car Buying Tips

You spent days looking for the perfect vehicle. You finally find it, and the $280.00 per month payment is just what you were looking for. The dealer then offers you more than expected for your barely running trade in. Things are going great! The car buying process is taking forever, but you don’t mind because the dealer seems so nice. He is talking about the weekend he had with his kids and his young family. The dealer is in and out of the office. He blames the delay on a a back-log in financing. Hours later he walks in with a stack of “routine” documents that need to be signed so you can purchase and finance the vehicle.

The dealer says that the lender requires that you purchase a warranty and GAP insurance. He explains this is required, and that because you are getting such a great price on the car it will have little effect on the monthly payment. The dealer then starts to present each document and points out where you should sign while keeping one hand on the document and talking about his recent trip to Mt. Hood. The dealer apologizes for the delay and shakes your hand. You drive off the lot with a big grin on your face.

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When you get home that big grin quickly turns to a frown once you review the paperwork. It is at that time that you notice the dealer charged you $3,000.00 for the required GAP insurance. You don’t know what GAP insurance is, but he said it was required. You also notice that the car is under factory warranty but you paid $2,000.00 for a service contract that covers the same thing as the warranty. This $15,000.00 car has now become $20,000.00. You also notice the increased monthly payments were the agreed $315.00, but instead of a 48 month loan you have a 60 month loan. You call the dealer and he says he will look into it and call you back. After that first call, the dealer won’t take your calls anymore. Unfortunately this unlawful scenario is all too common. However, consumers can mitigate their chances of being ripped off if they educate themselves about “add-ons.” Here are five things Oregon consumers should know about add-ons before they buy a car:

1) What are Vehicle Add-Ons: Vehicle add-ons are the extra goods, services, and accessories the dealer sells you in addition to the vehicle. Common add-ons are service contracts, pre-paid maintenance plans, extended warranties, GAP insurance, rust proofing, VIN etching, anti-theft devices, fabric protection, nitrogen in tires, window tinting, chrome-plated wheels, all-season floor mats, splash guards, wheel locks, cargo trays and alarm systems. These add-ons will almost always increase the price of the vehicle.

2) Dealers Can Make a Significant Profit on Add Ons: Dealers do not typically make a large profit on simply selling a vehicle. A dealer can substantially increase their profit if they are able to sell you add-ons. This is why they may be willing to substantially drop the asking price of the vehicle or increase your trade in value. This gives the illusion that you are getting a great deal when in reality you are being over-charged for the add-ons. Dealers are willing to drop the price of the vehicle if they can make up the difference by selling over-priced add-ons. For example the dealer may charge you $2,500.00 for GAP insurance. The dealer then only pays GAP insurance company $500.00 for your GAP insurance policy. The dealer will then keep the $2,000.00 as her profit. This is important to know If you want to purchase an add-on, because there is usually room to negotiate with the dealer.

3) Dealers Cannot Charge an Unconscionable Price for Add-Ons: Oregon law prevents the dealer from making false or misleading representation about the amount charged for add-ons that are sold with the vehicle by selling them at a price which is unconscionably higher than the price typically sold to customers. See OAR 137-020-0020 (3)(f). What this means is that the dealer cannot sell VIN etching for one customer for $50.00 and then sell the same product/service to you for $1,500.00.

4) Dealers Cannot Require You to Purchase Add-Ons in Order to Finance the Vehicle: Oregon law prohibits dealers from informing consumers that the dealer won’t sell the vehicle or obtain financing for the vehicle unless the consumer purchases add-ons, accessories, or insurance. See OAR 137-020-0020 (3)(L)&(v). The dealer can ensure that the consumer has liability insurance that is required by law, but cannot condition the sale based on the consumer purchasing that insurance from the dealer, GAP insurance, or other products or services. To put it another way, you do not have to buy any add-ons in order to buy the car.

5) The Dealer Must Be Up Front About the Cost of the Add-Ons and the Price of the Vehicle: Dealers often try and pack add-ons into the price of the vehicle. This enables them to conceal the actual price of the add-ons. This is called “packing” and it is unlawful. The law requires that during negotiations the dealer cannot quote monthly payments or the total sale price of the vehicle with the add-ons included unless the dealer clearly and separately delivers in writing, during negotiations and prior to any purchase order, the individual price of the add-ons, and the total costs without the items included. See OAR 137-020-0020 (3)(m). What this means is that during negotiations the dealer should provide you something in writing noting the total cost of the vehicle and the monthly payments without any of the add-ons included. The dealers should also provide you the individual price of each add on.

How Can You Protect Yourself from a Car Dealer?

1) Read the Documents: It is a no brainer that you should read what you are signing. However, dealers use tactics to prevent this. Dealers are trained to keep their hands on the documents and point where to sign while engaging in conversation with you. You can protect yourself by asking the dealer to step out of the office or away from the desk and give you time to read the documents. You can also politely ask the dealer to stop talking as you are going through the documents, and remind them that you are trying to focus. There is never enough time to read all of the small print. However, before you sign the documents you should have an understanding of the major aspects of the deal.

2) Shop Based on Total Sale Price: Many people purchase cars solely based on the monthly payments. Focusing on monthly payments puts the consumer at a disadvantage because the dealer can tweak the financing and price of add-ons to keep the monthly payments roughly the same, but the actual amount financed of the vehicle is substantially higher. You can protect yourself by shopping based on the “Total Sale Price” of the vehicle. That price is located on the truth in lending act disclosures that the dealer requires you to sign.

3) Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away If Something Doesn’t Feel Right: If you think the dealer is trying to take advantage of you then walk away. Dealers use long delays to exhaust buyers so that the dealer can get them to rush through signing the paperwork. You can combat this by giving them a certain amount of time to prepare the documents or you walk. You can also walk out if you get the sense that the dealer is trying to pull a fast one or take advantage of you.

Add-ons may be a good deal for some people, but buyers should beware. Selling add-ons is a fertile area where dealers can increase their profits on a deal substantially. That means the consumer will end up paying more unless they understand what they are purchasing and the amount they are paying.

If you or someone you know has been ripped off by a car dealer please call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658. Oregon Consumer Lawyer Jeremiah Ross has represented numerous consumers who have been victims of auto fraud, unlawful car sales, and vehicle financing schemes. Please remember that rules and laws are constantly changing. Please contact a lawyer or refer to the law rather than simply relying on this post. This post could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.


Ross Law Files Lawsuit Against Ontario Auto Ranch for Unlawful Vehicle Sale

Ross Law PDX recently filed a lawsuit in Malheur County Circuit Court against Ontario Auto Ranch for an unlawful “Yo-Yo” sale of a vehicle. This is one of the more egregious “Yo-Yo” sales that we have seen in years.

Yo-Yo scams go by a few different terms (spot delivery, bushing scams), but essentially the scam goes like this: The dealership informs the consumer that their financing has been approved and the deal is done. The consumer then drives the vehicle off the lot and is under the impression it is theirs.

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Days, weeks, or months later, the dealership calls the consumer and tells the consumer that the financing did not go through. The dealership will then claim they can obtain financing for the vehicle, but they will either need more money for a down payment, or they have to change the financing terms, or both. This puts the consumer in a difficult spot, because the consumer is under the impression the vehicle was theirs. Consumers don’t want to have to explain to friends and family that they had to return the vehicle because they couldn’t get it financed. Dealers know this, and capitalize on the consumer’s fears to get the consumer to agree to new less favorable financing terms. This allows the dealership to squeeze more money out of the consumer.

Yo-Yo sales are legal. However, the law requires the dealership to comply with certain deadlines and make certain disclosures in order to make a Yo-Yo sale legal. For example, the dealership has 14 days from the date the consumer takes possession of the vehicle to find the consumer financing or inform the consumer that financing under the original terms could not be obtained. During this 14-day period the dealership cannot sell the Trade-In vehicle. Additionally, if the dealership cannot obtain vehicle financing under the original terms, then the dealership must offer to immediately return any vehicle traded in and any cash down payment. If the dealership fails to do this, they have broken the law.

Usually there are other legal violations that flow out of these unlawful sales. Truth In Lending Act violations are common, unlawful “payment packing” is also common, and there will often be unlawful attempts to conceal negative equity or inflate cash down payments in an effort to obtain financing from the lender. This is what we allege Ontario Auto Ranch has done.

Ontario Auto Ranch is a large auto dealership in Ontario, Oregon. Auto Ranch sold our client a 2015 Ford truck in June 2018. Auto Ranch orchestrated the deal so that our client would trade in two vehicles for the Ford truck, and the dealership would obtain financing for the Ford Truck. Our client took possession of the vehicle in June 2018 and the dealership informed our client the financing had been approved. At that time, the dealership took possession of the 2 trade in vehicles.

One of the trade-ins was a 2017 Dodge truck, the other was an 2011 Ford. The Dodge was financed and the consumer owed more than the Dodge was worth. (negative equity) The financing documents do not note the Dodge had any negative equity, so it appears that the dealership gave our client cash for the 2011 Ford and applied that amount to the “Trade-In value” of the Dodge. The financing documents are silent on the amount the dealer paid our client for the 2011 Ford. This allowed the dealership to conceal the Dodge’s negative equity and make it appear the dealership paid more for the Dodge than they actually did.

The Retail Installment Contract was also silent as to “Theft Protection” and “Pre-Paid Maintenance.” Dealerships make significant profits on these additional products. However, these products appear on our client’s “Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement.” It appears these products were unlawfully rolled into the purchase price of the vehicle, and were not disclosed in accordance with the law.

After the purchase of the Ford Truck, our client continued to contact Ontario Auto Ranch. He wanted to know where he would send his monthly payments to. Ontario Auto Ranch informed him that the vehicle financing was being processed and blamed the delay on the Credit Union.

Six weeks after our client took possession of the vehicle, Ontario Auto Ranch finally informed our client that they were having difficulty financing the vehicle due to a paperwork error. In August 2018, the dealership demanded our client sign a new Retail Installment Contract with new financing terms. Auto Ranch again failed to disclose the Dodge’s negative equity and there is no mention of the 2011 Ford on the August Retail Installment Contract. However, this time the dealership noted on the Retail Installment Contract that there was $299.00 paid to an entity for “Maintenance.” Similar to the June 2018 sale, our client was instructed where to sign and did so based on the dealer’s representations.

Our client continued to call Auto Ranch in August and September 2018. At this point, our client had the vehicle for roughly three months. However, Ontario Auto Ranch gave him the run-around and would not provide a clear answer on the status of the financing. In September, Ontario Auto Ranch asserted the loan needed to be re-submitted to the bank.

Later in September, the dealership informed our client that it was unable to obtain funding for the Ford’s loan under the terms of the agreement. Auto Ranch informed our client that a different bank could finance the deal, but at a substantially higher interest rate. Shortly thereafter, Auto Ranch informed our client that the options were: 1) sign a new financing contract with a higher interest rate, or 2) Auto Ranch would repossess the Ford. Auto Ranch never informed our client whether or not he could obtain his trade-ins back. In October 2018, our client contacted Ontario Auto Ranch in an effort to determine the status of financing. The dealership has yet to get back to him or contact Ross Law.

As a result, our client had no choice but to file a lawsuit against the dealership. This type of scam is all too common. However, it rarely gets to this point. As you can imagine this has been extremely frustrating and difficult for our client. We are eager to force the dealership to attempt to justify their actions and hopefully Auto Ranch will learn from this lawsuit.

FOR A FULL FACTUAL BASIS FOR THIS POST SEE: Malheur County Circuit Court Case 18CV55364. If you, or someone you know, has been ripped off by a car dealers, call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658. Jeremiah Ross represents consumers throughout the state of Oregon. Please note that this litigation is evolving and refer to the Court’s file for updated information, and this post is based on current information as we know it. The dealership may have a different version of events, and we look forward to hearing those.

Beware Oregon Car Buyers! Hurricane Season Means Flood Car Season

Hurricane Florence is currently pummeling the Carolina Coast.  Buckets of rain have fallen and are expected to continue to fall over the next couple of days.  Major cities are predicted to flood.  People have left their homes in search of safety until the rain and flooding subsides.  Once the rain stops the clean up will begin. Katrina and Sandy have taught us that clean up can take years.  There are entire industries dedicated to natural disaster clean up. Of particular concern is the industry that has evolved to remove and resell the hundreds of thousands of flood vehicles that will eventually be sold to unwary Oregonians.

Flood vehicles” are vehicles that have been in flood areas and the vast majority of them have been partially submerged for a period of time.  Flood vehicles can develop terrible mechanical and electrical issues even though they may look great.  I have litigated cases involving Hurricane Sandy cars being sold in, or through, Oregon.  Throughout that litigation, I learned how thousands of cars get out of the flood zone and are resold throughout the country.  

First, an insurance company representative typically will go through neighborhoods seeking out homes and vehicles that are insured by their insurance company.  The insurance company employee, or subcontractor, then briefly inspects the vehicle.  The insurance company often renders the vehicle a total loss on the spot.  Then the insurance company immediately initiates the process to total the vehicle and title it as a Flood Vehicle. The vehicles are then transported from the neighborhood to a large holding area.  Thousands of vehicles are then auctioned off and sold around the Country and the world.  Some of the vehicles will wind up in Oregon.

Prior to coming to Oregon, some of the titles may be washed.  Title Washing is a process where a vehicle with a branded title, such as a Flood Vehicle, will be titled in a state that may issue a clean title to that vehicle. Then the vehicle is re-sold and may wind up at your local used car dealer.  The new Title will not be a "branded" or a "Flood" title, so consumers will not be alerted the vehicle will likely have serious electrical or mechanical issues.  

Some dealers will rip consumers off in a more brazen fashion.  These dealers simply take the consumer's money and then provide the branded title after the funds have cleared. Then the dealer claims they informed the buyer that the vehicle was a flood vehicle.  Dealers often have unwary consumers sign a piece of paper noting the vehicle maybe a flood or salvaged vehicle, However, the dealer will simply state this is a standard form.  Then once the salvaged title is provided to the consumer, the dealer uses the document as a defense to claim the consumer knew of the branded title.

Buyers need to beware of flood vehicles over the next few years.   If a consumer unknowingly purchases a flood vehicle, then the seller may be liable for the violations of various State or Federal Laws.   

What you Can Do To Try And Ensure You Do Not Purchase a Flood Damaged Car:  It is important for Oregon Consumers to inspect any vehicle they may buy.  That great deal on Craigslist may actually be a terrible deal for a car that is plagued with electrical issues.   Oregonians should inspect the vehicle.  Consumers should examine underneath the vehicle to ensure there are not any mineral deposits, a "silt line," or significant mud.  The headlights may have mud or debris lines inside of them.  The interior and trunk should be inspected for any discoloration that indicates flooding.  If the vehicle smells funny (either of mold or heavy chemicals) that may be an indication of flooding.  The consumer should turn on and off all of the lights and radio, and operate any electrical features (windows, sunroof, rear windshield wiper)to ensure they all function properly.  

The consumer should also pull a title history report from Carfax or AutoCheck to determine: 1) if the vehicle has a branded title, and 2) to determine if the vehicle is from the North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia.  However, these reports are not always accurate so they shouldn't solely be relied upon.   If the vehicle was bought or sold at a "Copart" auction yard that is a big red flag that the vehicle may have had a salvaged title, or had previously been total. These tips may assist consumers in protecting themselves from buying a flood car, but it may not completely protect car buyers.

If you, or someone you know, purchased a vehicle that you believe is a flood vehicle, lemon, or has a salvaged title, then call Jeremiah Ross for your free case evaluation.  Call Oregon Lemon Law and dealer fraud lawyer Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658.  

Please remember this is attorney advertising.  Please do not solely rely on this post to obtain information to ensure you are not purchasing a flood vehicle. Have the vehicle checked by a mechanic and take other steps to ensure the vehicle is not a flood damaged vehicle. These are merely some steps that may protect Oregon car buyers.

Ross Law Filed 2 Lawsuits Last Month Against The Same Car Dealer

May was a busy month for Ross Law PDX.  We filed multiple lawsuits on behalf of personal injury clients and auto fraud and consumer clients.  It is rare to file multiple lawsuits against a single car dealer in a month, but it happened. We filed two lawsuits against Cascade Auto Inc alleging violations of Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act and other statutory violations arising out of the purchase and sale of two separate motor vehicles.  Both of the lawsuits allege Cascade Auto Inc. sold a vehicle with a material defect that the dealer knew or should have known about.   One client was forced to file a lawsuit because Cascade Auto Inc. refused to honor the arbitration agreement they directed our client sign at the time of the vehicle purchase.   

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If you or someone you know was ripped off by an Oregon Car dealer call auto fraud and lemon law lawyer Jeremiah Ross.  Ross Law PDX represents consumers who have purchased lemons or vehicles with material defects, have been victims of yo-yo sales or other car financing schemes, and other cases involving the purchase and sale of a motor vehicle from an Oregon Car dealer.

Investigating a Car Dealer's Reputation Before You Buy a Car

Purchasing a vehicle is stressful.  It is usually one of the largest purchases a person can make. That is why many people do their homework prior to purchasing a vehicle.  Many consumers will research a particular car and visit blog posts (like my recent blog post) to obtain information on how to research a particular vehicle.  However, many people fail to investigate the reputation of the dealership that they are dealing with.  This is usually pretty easy, but you would be surprised at how many people that were ripped off by a car dealer call me and say after the purchase they learned the dealership had numerous consumer complaints.  Here are some places to look for information about an Oregon car dealership before you purchase the vehicle.  Please remember the list is not exhaustive.  Also, Ross Law does not have any affiliation with the businesses or entities below.

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Do an Internet Search for the Dealerships name and the Dealer:  Whether you use Google, Yahoo, Bing, or some other search engine, you should always search the dealer's name for information about the dealer.   These internet searches will reveal good reviews, bad reviews, and any other information about the dealer that may reflect on the dealer's reputation.

Search the Oregon Department of Justice's Website for Consumer Claims:  The Oregon Department of Justice keeps an on-line database for consumer complaints against a particular dealership.  It is not complete, and sometimes there are issues with whether the complaint is filed under the proper name, but it is a very useful tool to determine if another person has had a negative experience with the car dealer.  Click here for access the database to review consumer complaints.

Search the Better Business Web-Site for Complaints: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also has an online database that will provide limited information regarding the dealership.  It is not complete or comprehensive, but it may provide information regarding a particular dealership and the types of complaints the BBB receives about that dealership. Click here to access the Better Business Bureau website

Review old issues of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Dealer Details Publication:  The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles publishes a newsletter that has a section that reports sanctions imposed against a dealership.  Click here to access the Dealer Details Publication.

Please remember that Ross Law does not have any affiliation with the above businesses or entities.  Also, please note the data and the information on the websites may not be complete.  Also, be aware that some businesses and dealerships will post fake reviews, or provide an incentive for a person to post a positive review that may not accurately reflect the transaction.  Also, even if you research the dealership you may get ripped off.  In the event, you, or someone you know, are ripped off, sold a lemon, or have been defrauded by an Oregon car dealer call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658. Jeremiah Ross is an Oregon Consumer Lawyer that regularly represents consumers who have been ripped off by car dealers or other businesses.  This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an attorney.  This post and blog could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. 

Three Things To Know About Oregon's Lemon Law and Motor Homes:

Oregon recently changed its lemon law to protect consumers who purchased motorhomes.   However, consumers should be aware of its limitations and applicability.  Consumers should take note of the limitations prior to contacting an Oregon Lemon Law Lawyer or Auto Fraud Lawyer.  If you have general questions about Oregon's lemon law click here.

Three Things You Should Know: 

Oregon's Lemon Law DOES apply to "Motor Homes" but not "Living Components:"  Oregon recently changed the lemon law to allow it to apply to new Motor Homes.  I don't know how many calls I get from folks who have purchased Motor Homes that have non-conformities.  This new change in the law is likely to result in a new arena of litigation.   Some New Motorhomes are plagued with water leaks, electrical issues, and issues with the living facility components (think flooring, plumbing fixtures, appliances, water heater, fabrics, door and furniture hardware, lighting fixtures, generators, airconditioning units, cabinets, furniture, etc.)   The Lemon Law only applies to some of these non-conformities. The law does NOT apply to any of the living facility components.  If your fridge doesn't keep the fish cold, the lemon law doesn't apply.  If your water heater explodes they day after purchase, the lemon law doesn't apply.  If the plumbing backs up the day after purchase the lemon law doesn't apply.  You get the point.  However, if the engine fails then it would apply.  If the roof Leaks, Oregon's lemon law may apply.    

Oregon's Lemon Law Does NOT Apply to Travel Trailers:  Oregon's lemon law only applies to "Motor Vehicles."  The law specifically excludes:  "a trailer, a camper, van or vehicle manufactured by an entity that primarily manufactures motor vehicles other than motor homes as defined by this subsection." 

The Prevailing Party May Be Awarded Costs Expert Fees, and Attorney Fees:  Oregon's lemon law allows for the prevailing party of a case involving a motor-home to be awarded costs, expert costs, and attorney fees.  This is important to note, because if a consumer loses their lemon law case they may be ordered to pay the manufacturer's costs and fees. This is different than a case involving a car or a truck. 

If you have questions about Oregon's Lemon Law or RV Dealer fraud call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  Ross Law PDX handles RV and Motorhome Lemon Law cases throughout Oregon.   Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered advice.  If you have any questions contact a lawyer and do not rely solely on this post.  This post can be considered attorney advertising. 

 

Bought a Lemon? Five Things To Know About Oregon's Lemon Law

Auto Fraud and Lemon Law cases are often tragic.  For many people, a vehicle is the biggest purchase of their lifetime.  They spend thousands of dollars on a vehicle and then the vehicle breaks down.   Most of these people hit the internet and attempt to learn as much as they can about Oregon's lemon law and become misinformed.  I field too many calls from uninformed or misinformed consumers.  The five issues below should dispell many myths about Oregon's Lemon Law and help consumers get a basic understanding of Oregon's lemon law.  Remember if you have questions about Oregon's Lemon Law call an Oregon Lemon Law attorney.

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1) Oregon's Lemon Law Only Applies in Very Limited Circumstances:  Oregon's lemon law does not cover all of Auto Fraud.  It only covers a limited number of vehicle purchases and has certain hurdles that a consumer must jump through.   Basically, Oregon's lemon law may apply if a person is a "consumer" (see below) under the lemon law; the new motor vehicle does not comply with the manufacturer's express warranties; the consumer reports each non-conformity to the manufacturer (think agent or authorized dealer), with the purpose of allowing the manufacturer to repair or correct the defect or non-conformity. The consumer must report the non-conformity during the two year period after the consumer took original delivery of the motor vehicle, or during a period that ends on the date which the vehicle's mileage reaches 24,000 miles, whichever ends first.  The law also requires the consumer to provide direct written notification to the manufacturer and provide the manufacturer the opportunity to correct the non-conformity.  A written request directed to the manufacturer for "informal dispute resolution" can be considered "Notification" to the manufacturer.   In summary, just because you bought a car that broke down does not mean it is a lemon.

2) Oregon's Lemon Law ONLY applies to NEW Vehicles:  Oregon's lemon law only applies to new vehicles.  The law specifically defines who a "consumer" is under the Lemon Law.  Oregon Law defines a "Consumer"  as,  " the purchaser or lessee, other than for purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle used for personal, family or household purposes. "  The good news with this definition is that it means that the lemon law protects people that buy and lease vehicles.  The bad news for most people is that the law only applies to brand new vehicles.   That doesnt' mean people that bought used vehicles do not have a remedy.  They just can't use the lemon law.  Instead, they may have to bring an action under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act, Magnuson Moss Act, Contract Law, or common law Fraud.  

3) Oregon's Lemon Law Does NOT Give You An Automatic Opportunity to Unwind The Deal:  People often call and tell me they have a thirty day right to return their vehicle after the purchase.  Some consumers say they have three days to return the vehicle, but the dealer won't take the vehicle back.  In most cases that is incorrect.  Oregon's Lemon Law does NOT have a provision that permits a person to automatically unwind the deal within a specified period of time for any reason.   

4) The Vehicle is Presumed a Lemon In Some Circumstances (Think 3 repairs or 30 days):  Oregon's Lemon Law presumes that a vehicle is a lemon if either of the following occurs: 1) the manufacturer (agent or an authorized dealer) has been attempted to repair or coorrect the non-conformatiy three or more times and had an opportunity to cure the defect, OR; 2) the vehicle is out of service for more than 30 calendar days (60 Days for motor homes) for the purpose of making repairs, OR; 3) the non-conformity involves a defect that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury and the manufacturer (agent or authorized dealer) has had at least one chance to repair or corrcect the issue and made a final attempt to correct it and it still exists.   This presumption has certain time limitations and only applies if the manufacturer has received prior direct written notification from a consumer and had the chance to repair the defect.  If the presumption doesn't apply your vehicle may still be a lemon, it just becomes a more difficult case.  

5) If You Have a Lemon You May Receive A Substantial Amount of Money:  If the manufacturer forces the matter to court, did not act in good faith, and you win, then the manufacturer may have to pay the consumer up to three times the amount of any damages.  This amount is capped at $50,000.00 though.  The manufacturer may also be required to pay the consumer's court costs, expert fees, and attorney fees. This provision in the law permits lemon law lawyers, such as myself, to take these cases on a contingent fee

Auto Dealer Fraud and Oregon's lemon law is a complicated area of law.  The law is always changing and much of the rights and obligations of the parties are found in the contracts between them.   What this means is that most consumers are going to need to discuss their matter with a lawyer rather than jumping to conclusions after some brief internet research.  If you have questions call Oregon Lemon Law Lawyer, Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  Ross law handles Oregon Auto Fraud and Lemon Law cases in Portland, Salem, Astoria, Hood River, Pendleton, Umatilla, Medford, Roseburg, Bend, and throughout Oregon.

REMEMBER!!! There are exceptions to the five issues above and many of the areas addressed are considered gray areas.  Therefore PLEASE do not rely solely on this post.  The law is constantly changing.  This post is not intended to be legal advise and is attorney advertising. 

National Consumer Protection Week-People and Laws that Protect Consumers

As a consumer attorney I am always attempting to bring awareness to issues that effect consumers.   Things like arbitration clauses, auto fraud, unlawful debt collections, lender fraud, and mortgage fraud, are all issues that consumer lawyers take on.   I focus on a small area of auto fraud, but there are many lawyers in Oregon that represent consumers in all different types of cases. 

This week is the Federal Trade Commission's consumer protection week.  The purpose of this week is to bring awareness to consumer issues.  Why does this matter to you?  It is simple, Consumer issues effect virtually everyone in the United States.  Regulatory agencies and attorneys work tirelessly to ensure that consumer's get a fair shot and attempt to use the law to encourage businesses to change their behavior.  

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For example, things like the Truth In Lending act ensure that you should have the ability to understand your loan and how much it would cost you.  Without attorney's representing consumers that were not provided the proper paperwork disclosing the loan terms, the law would probably be ignored. Businesses wouldn't have any incentive to comply with it. Another example is the car dealer that sells a vehicle "As-Is" and it breaks down the next day.  The Oregon Department of Justice can enforce rules that should protect the consumer if this happens.  Private attorneys can also represent consumers that get ripped off by car dealers.  This will hopefully help educate dealers on the various laws they have broken and provide them an incentive to change their behavior.  Other issues such as banks charging hidden fees or debt collectors calling in the middle of the night are all issues that regulatory agencies and lawyers are constantly battling to prevent.  The bottom line is that if you feel you were ripped off  there are agencies and lawyers that are eager to assist. 

If you have any questions feel free to call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  Jeremiah Ross represents persons in Personal Injury matters, Auto Fraud cases, and crime victims.  LEGAL STUFF: Please note Ross Law is not affiliated with the Department of Justice or the FTC or any other state or federal agency.  This blog post and web-site are not to be considered legal advice, but could be construed as Attorney Advertising.

 

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