NEW JERSEY USED CAR LEMON LAW
                    AND DEALER FRAUD CLAIMS

 

  

                                                        Fraud

 

                                                             ________________________

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keywords, used car lemon law, claims, used lemon law, defect, fraud, used car fraud, lemon law for used car, consumer fraud act, used car lemon law lawyer, New Jersey used car lemon law.  

       New Jersey and New York have used car lemon laws, but these lemon laws have certain limitations.  The New Jersey used car lemon law does not provide for attorneys fee to the plaintiff.  While the New Jersey new car lemon law provides for a mileage offset from date of first repair, the used car lemon law deduction encompasses the entire mileage. 

       Besides the lemon law, other laws can protect the consumer.  If the dealer fails to honor the warranty, the consumer may file a claim for breach of warranty.  If the vehicle was misrepresented, claims for consumer fraud are possible.  The used car lemon law allows the consumer to file in the lemon law unit or in court.  Since the lemon law unit handles only lemon law claims, it is usually preferable to file a used car lemon law claims with other claims in court.   Other laws such as the consumer fraud act or the Magnuson-Moss Act provide for counsel fees.   We excerpt the New Jersey used car lemon law below.
          

I. NEW JERSEY USED CAR LEMON LAW STATUTE
 

The New Jersey Used Car Lemon law requires certain minimum warranties and prohibits some common deceptive practices. 

56:8-69.Written warranty required; minimum durations

It shall be an unlawful practice for a dealer to sell a used motor vehicle to a consumer without giving the consumer a written warranty which shall at least have the following minimum durations:

a. If the used motor vehicle has 24,000 miles or less, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 90 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first;
b. If the used motor vehicle has more than 24,000 miles but less than 60,000 miles, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 60 days or 2,000 miles, whichever comes first; or
c. If the used motor vehicle has 60,000 miles or more, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first, except that a consumer may waive his right to a warranty as provided under section 7 of this act.

A. Exclusions from Act

The provisions of sections 3, 4, and 5 shall not apply to: any used motor vehicle sold for less than $3,000; any used motor vehicle over seven or more model years old; ... or, any used motor vehicle with more than 100,000 miles.

A consumer, as a result of a price negotiation for the purchase of a used motor vehicle with over 60,000 miles, may elect to waive the dealer's obligation to provide a warranty on the used motor vehicle provided that it complies with NJAC 13:45A-26F.18.

B. Misrepresentations and Deceptive Practices Prohibited

56:8-68.Unlawful advertising practices :

a. To misrepresent the mechanical condition of a used motor vehicle
b. To fail to disclose, prior to sale, any material defect in the mechanical condition of the used motor vehicle which is known to the dealer;
c. To represent that a used motor vehicle, or any component thereof, is free from material defects in mechanical condition at the time of sale, unless the dealer has a reasonable basis for this representation at the time it is made...
e. To misrepresent the terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance currently in effect on a used motor vehicle provided by a person other than the dealer, and subject to transfer to a consumer;...
g. To misrepresent the terms of any warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered by the dealer in connection with the sale of a used motor vehicle;
h. To represent, prior to sale, that a used motor vehicle is sold with a warranty, service contract or repair insurance when the vehicle is sold without any warranty, service contract or repair nsurance;
j. To fail to provide a clear written explanation, prior to sale, of what is meant by the term "as is," if the used motor vehicle is sold "as is."

C. Disclosure of Body Damage

N.J.A.C. 13:45A-26A.7 entitled unlawful advertising practices makes unlawful: 

"The failure to disclose that the motor vehicle had been previously damages and that substantial repair  or body work had been performed on it when such prior repair or body work is know or should have been known by the advertiser; for the purposes of this subsection, "substantial repair or body work" shall mean repair or body work having a retail value of $1,000 or more."; 

It is unclear whether the regulation applies to unadvertised vehicles. Cases in other states have dealt with failure to disclose body damage, though we see no New Jersey case on this issue. 

D. Other Prohibited Advertising Practices. 

1. The use of any type, size, location, lighting, illustration, graphic depiction or color so as to obscure or make misleading any material fact. 

2. The setting forth of an advertised price which has been calculated by deducting a down payment, trade-in allowance, or any deductions other than a manufacturer's rebate....

5. The failure to state the applicable time period of any special offer, in at least 10-point type immediately adjacent tot he special offer, unless the special offer is a manufacturer's program. 

13 The use of such terms or phrases as lowest prices, lower prices than anyone else or our lowest prices of the year or similar terms or phrases if such claim cannot be substantiated by the advertiser. 

II. FEDERAL ODOMETER LAW 

The federal odometer statute states, "A person transferring ownership of a motor vehicle shall give the (buyer) the following written disclosure: 

a) Disclosure of the cumulative mileage registered on the vehicle, or
b) disclosure that the mileage is unknown.  49 U.S.C. 32705

Federal regulations dictate a specific form and a certification.  Some auction houses do not provide an odometer statement or do not provide the odometer certification as the federal regulations require.  Note that when confronted with any discrepancies, these facilities almost always deny liability.  

II.  OTHER FTC REGULATIONS  

FTC regulations provide:  

 "It is a deceptive act or practice for any used vehicle dealer... (1) To misrepresent the mechanical condition of a used vehicle; (2) To misrepresent the terms of any warranty offered in connection with the sale of a used vehicle; and (3) To represent that a used vehicle is sold with a warranty when the vehicle is sold without any warranty...  {or to] fail to make available, prior to sale, the terms of any written warranty offered in connection with the sale of a used vehicle.    16 CFR 455 

Sec. 455.4 "Contrary statements. You may not make any statements, oral or written, or take other actions which alter or contradict the disclosures required by Secs. 455.2 and 455.3. You may negotiate over warranty coverage, as provided in Sec. 455.2(b) of this part, as long as the final warranty terms are identified in the contract of sale and summarized on the copy of the window form you give to the buyer."

Sec. 455.5 "Spanish language sales. If you conduct a sale in Spanish, the window form required by Sec. 455.2 and the contract disclosures required by Sec. 455.3 must be in that language."

    1. Remedies for Window Sticker Violations

Failure to place the window sticker on the vehicle is a deceptive practice and under New Jersey law as well as some other states, the consumer may sue for additional damages.  The consumer may also attempt to cancel the deal.  

FEDERAL FORMS 

1. FTC Window Sticker

2. Federal Odometer Disclosure Statement 49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 580.1 

 

    ODOMETER DISCLOSURE STATEMENT   

Federal law requires that you state the mileage upon transfer of ownership.  Failure to complete or provide a false statement may result in fines and / or imprisonment.
 

 
I, __________________________________________ (transferor's or seller's name, Print) state that the odometer now reads ___________________ (no tenths) miles and to the best of my knowledge that it reflects the actual mileage of the vehicle described below, unless one of the following statements is checked.
(1) I hereby certify that to the best of my knowledge the odometer reading reflects the amount of mileage in excess of its mechanical limits.
(2) I hereby certify that the odometer reading is NOT the actual mileage.
WARNING - ODOMETER DISCREPANCY.
 

___________________________________________________
  TRANSFEROR'S SIGNATURE (SELLER)
____________________________________________________
  PRINTED NAME
____________________________________________________
  TRANSFEROR'S ADDRESS (STREET - SELLER)
____________________________________________________
  CITY                                                        STATE                                     ZIP CODE
____________________________________________________
  DATE
 ___________________________________________________
  TRANSFEREE'S SIGNATURE (BUYER)
____________________________________________________
  PRINTED NAME
____________________________________________________
  TRANSFEREE'S ADDRESS (STREET - BUYER)
____________________________________________________
  CITY                                                        STATE                                     ZIP CODE
 

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II. NEW JERSEY USED CAR LEMON LAW REGULATIONS

 Violations

Without limiting the prosecution of any other practices which may be unlawful under the Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq., any violation of the provisions of this subchapter shall be subject to the sanctions contained in the Consumer Fraud Act.

The written warranty shall be in the same format, and contain all of the information in, the "Used Motor Vehicle Limited Warranty" form which is appended hereto as Appendix A, incorporated herein by reference, and have at least the following minimum durations:

1. If the used motor vehicle has 24,000 miles or less, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 90 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first;

2. If the used motor vehicle has more than 24,000 miles but less than 60,000 miles, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 60 days or 2,000 miles, whichever comes first; or

3. If the used motor vehicle has 60,000 miles or more, the warranty shall be, at a minimum, 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first, unless the consumer elects to waive this warranty pursuant to the terms of N.J.A.C. 13:45A-26F.4.

(c) The written warranty shall require the dealer, during the term of the warranty, to correct the failure or malfunction of a covered item as defined in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-26F.2, provided the used motor vehicle is delivered to the dealer, at the dealer's regular place of business and subject to a deductible amount of $50.00 to be paid by the consumer for each repair of a covered item. This written warranty shall exclude repairs covered by any manufacturer's warranty or recall program, as well as repairs of a covered item required because of collision, abuse, or the consumer's failure to properly maintain such used motor vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule, or from damage of a covered item caused as a result of any commercial use of the used motor vehicle, or operation of such vehicle without proper lubrication or coolant, or as a result of any misuse, negligence or alteration of such vehicle by someone other than the dealer.

(d) The warranty periods in (b) above shall be extended by any time period during which the used motor vehicle is waiting for the dealer or his agent to begin or complete repairs of a material defect of the used motor vehicle.

keywords, used car lemon law, claims, used lemon law, defect, fraud, used car fraud, consumer fraud act, used car lemon law lawyer, New Jersey used car lemon law.

NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW LINKS
 
lemon law cases            (review of important New Jersey lemon law cases)
Lemon law statutes       (State by state listing of  laws and statutes)
New Jersey Lemon law
unit
                                  (information from the New Jersey lemon law unit)
Hearing preparation       (checklist for lemon law hearings)
New Jersey lemon law statute           (The New Jersey lemon law statute with comments)
New Jersey leasing statute
( New Jersey leasing statute)
New Jersey lemon law guide
New Jersey lemon law decisions
New Jersey lemon law Q & A (questions and answers about the New Jersey lemon law)



USED CAR INFORMATION


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New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law Regulations
Federal Odometer Statute
Federal Odometer Regulations
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 NJ odometer rollback case
odometer fraud overview
Odometer rollback claimsAuto Auction claims
Incidence of odometer fraud

New Jersey used car lemon law

keywords  Used car fraud, New Jersey used car lemon law, Consumer Fraud Act, New Jersey lemon law lawyer, lemon law for used cars. 

 

 

Law Offices of Howard A. Gutman,
230 Route 206, Mount Olive, New Jersey 07836
(973) 598-1980, E-mail
Howian@aol.com 

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New York, New York 10165 (212) 886-4838

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