unlawful trade practices

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.   


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. 

Jeremiah Ross Named Co-Chair of Oregon Trial Lawyers Association Consumer Law Section

Jeremiah was recently named co-chair of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association's Consumer Law Section.  Jeremiah proudly represents Oregon Consumers in cases involving automobile dealer fraud, lemon law cases, negligent vehicle repairs, and vehicle warranty disputes.  If you, or someone you know, has been ripped off by a car dealer or you have been sold a lemon, call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  Ross Law LLC is an Oregon law firm that represents Consumers and injury clients throughout Oregon.    


Oregon Consumers Beware-Flooded Cars from Louisiana May Flood Into Oregon

Louisiana has recently suffered some of the worst flooding in the Nation's history.   At least 60,000 homes have been damaged and it is estimated at least 13 people died as a result of the flooding.  These are staggering numbers, and the destruction is anticipated to take months or years to clean up.  

It is difficult for us in Oregon to imagine how this flood could possibly affect us.  However, car buyer's need to beware because the numerous Louisiana cars that were flooded may be heading to Oregon.  These cars usually suffer from numerous electrical issues, power-train issues, and can often be plagued with mildew problems.  These issues can create a dangerous situation when the vehicle loses power and this can result in the injury or death to the driver and others on the road.

It is unknown how many flooded cars may be entering the markets, but there could be tens of thousands of vehicles flooding into the used car markets. Dealers can buy these cars at a reduced price, clean them up, and sell them to unknowing consumers.  Vehicles without a  "branded title" ( Branded Titles are basically titles that note"water damaged vehicle" or a "Salvaged Title") may be sold to an unknowing customer even though it has been in a flood.  This occurs when the dealer's attempts to conceal any water damage and sell the vehicle without disclosing the fact the vehicle is a flood car.

If the vehicle's title is "branded" or notes the vehicle is a water-damaged vehicle then the dealer may attempt to "wash" the title.  Louisiana Law notes that if a vehicle's electrical system or power train is damaged by flood damage and totaled by an insurance company as a result, then it will receive the "water damaged" brand on the title.  


Title washing can occur when a person purchases a vehicle with a salvaged title or a water-damaged title and registers it in a state that does not recognize that particular "brand" on the title.  The new state then issues a clear title and the vehicle can be sold anywhere in the United States and passed off as a clean title.   Some states make it easy to "wash" a title.  For instance some states will not issue a branded title to a vehicle that is more than 7 years old.  What that means is that a purchaser can buy an 8 year old vehicle with a water-damaged title in Louisiana and then register in the new state an receive an unbranded title.  Once the vehicle has an unbranded title it can be sold anywhere in the US as a "clean title" vehicle.  

Title washing can also take place when a person actually physically alters the title in an effort to conceal the "brand" on the title (think photo-shop or white-out).  This is more difficult to do, but it does occur.   This is big problem if the title is held by the bank, as the bank employee may not scrutinize the title as closely as they should. 

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.  They 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 Louisiana.  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 had a salvaged title. These tips may assist consumer's in protecting themselves from buying a flood car, but it may not completely protect you.

If you or someone you know unknowingly purchased a "flood car" or a car with a branded title in Oregon then please call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658.  Jeremiah Ross may be able to assist you with your consumer case in Oregon.