Lemon Law Attorneys Blog


Car Dealers Must Disclose Certain Kinds of Pre-Sale Damage

June 11, 2021 by Karl Heil

New cars are sometimes damaged before they are sold. They could be damaged during transport when they are shipped from the factory to the dealer. They could be damaged by theft or vandalism.  They also could be damaged from a collision while on the dealer’s lot or during a test drive.

Most states require car dealers to disclose certain kinds of pre-delivery damage new cars have sustained. Usually, there’s a threshold amount that triggers the disclosure requirement. For example, if the pre-delivery damage exceeds $500 or a certain percentage of the vehicle’s price, then the dealer must disclose the damage, even if the damage has been repaired.  But if the damage does not exceed $500 or the statutory percentage of the vehicle’s price, then the dealer is not required to disclose the damage. Therefore, depending on a specific state’s law, a car dealer might not be required to disclose certain kinds of damage.

In California, certain types of damage, such as damage to the frame, drivetrain, or suspension, must be disclosed no matter what the value of the damage is.  Also, if the vehicle damage has not been repaired, the car dealer must disclose the damage no how much it costs to repair the vehicle.

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