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Car Dealer Scam
USED CAR HISTORY - VEHICLE HISTORY REPORT >AutoCheck Vehicle History Report > Car Dealer Scam
The following are tips on how AutoCheck vehicle history report can be used to detect used car dealer scams. There are many type of scams on the used cars sales.
Used car dealer scams - Consumers should not trust used car dealers, no matter how big the dealership is.The warning Caveat Emptor - "Let the buyer beware!" - still applies here. Many used car dealership sells auction cars which has shady history (salvage, wrecked, or lemon). Some used car dealerships are in the business of rebuilding wrecked, flood damage or salvage cars and sell them as a clean title car. There are millions of cars damaged by recent natural disaster (i.e, flood) in many states. These cars are sold again to market by certain used car dealers.
Title washing - Vehicle title washing occurs when vehicle rebuilders patch together severely damaged and salvaged vehicles in one state, and then move to another state to obtain clear and clean title that gives a buyer no clue of the vehicle's past damage. Often, the rebuilt vehicles have significant defects that bring buyers problems, expenses, and safety risks.
Vehicle title washing sounds a little like a car wash but, in this case, the consumer gets soaked. With over 45 million used cars and trucks sold in 2002, it's perhaps not surprising that a number of those vehicles come fully equipped—equipped with headaches from the merely cosmetic to those threatening safety. These questions and answers can steer you through the title washing track.
In 1998, 2.5 million U.S. vehicles were so badly damaged that they were declared a total loss, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Of these, approximately 40% were rebuilt and put back on the road. Women, minorities, recent immigrants, and teenagers buying their first cars are common targets of unscrupulous vehicle sellers.
How does vehicle title washing affect consumers?
Who has laws against title washing, and is any legislation pending?
Nationally, both Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Senator Trent
Lott (R-Miss.) have sponsored bills supporting a uniform national standard
for dealing with wrecked and salvaged vehicles. Lott's bill would classify
as "salvage" a vehicle that sustains damage exceeding 75% of
its preaccident value, but would permit states to enact lower percentages.
It also would require warning labels on rebuilt salvage vehicles. Feinstein's
bill goes further—requiring the word "salvage" to be stamped
on the title of any vehicle with damage exceeding 65% of its preaccident
value. It also would require owners to disclose any damage exceeding $3,000,
unless the damage was entirely cosmetic.
How do I know if a car has been title-washed?
Check the title to see if the car is an out-of-state vehicle. Does it say "salvaged"? If the title doesn't say the car is salvaged then:
What steps can I take to protect myself?
Curbstoning - A curbstoner is a person who purchases vehicles at volumes that require a dealer license and then poses as a private seller to sell to unsuspecting buyers for a large profit. Curbstoning is illegal in most States. AutoCheck analyzes a vehicle's history for specific events to determine if a vehicle is potentially at risk for curbstoning. For instance, a vehicle that has been sold at auction but not issued a new title during a given period of time. Please read the AutoCheck Curbstoning Tips for other ways to identify a potential curbstoner.
VIN: The Vehicle ID Number (VIN) can be found on dashboards and title documents. All cars and light trucks built after 1981 have a unique 17-character VIN that contains valuable information about that vehicle's history.
Shopping Tip: To check used vehicles while you shop, be sure to ask the dealer/seller for the VINs.
Check Car Title
Salvaged? Lemon? Flooded? Rebuilt?
Fraud? Rolled Over? Rolled Back? Broken?
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