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Dealership sold me a car and now says they have to buy it back

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by Amanda Cureton-harding, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Amanda Cureton-harding

    Amanda Cureton-harding Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi there.

    I bought a used 2018 ford fusion on August 8th 2019. It took a month to get the tags for it but they eventually came in, earlier in September and I've had plates on the car since. Today I get a text from them stating they have to buy it back because of an oversight on the title. They state the title was marked as for parts only, should have never been restored, and is illegal to drive.

    I absolutely love this car. I dont want to give it up but they say the car has been marked illegal permanently in the state of Utah. I just dont understand why now and not before they registered my car and gave me plates.

    Something doesnt smell right about this and I cant seem to find legal info on this situation anywhere.

    If anyone has any idea of what my next steps are here I would appreciate any and all info. I'm completely floored.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    What does a parts only title mean?

    It means that some insurance company likely decided that repairs are greater than the value of the once wrecked (as in totaled) vehicle, typically that is about 70% of the value set.

    If the car was declared a total loss, then the title is branded as salvage.

    In some states (that would be yours, UTAH) the title is branded as parts only.

    I suspect that is why the dealer is mandated by law to buy the vehicle back from you.

    Here you go, pal, direct from your Utah DMV website:

    Branded Titles
    A salvage vehicle is a vehicle damaged by collision, flood, or other occurrence to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle for safe operation exceeds its fair market value; or a vehicle that has been declared a salvage vehicle by an insurer or other state or jurisdiction, but is not precluded from further registration and titling (UCA §41-1a-1001) https://le.utah.gov/asp/codelookup/codelookup.asp?section=41-1a-1001 . A rebuilt/restored vehicle is a salvage vehicle that has been repaired and restored to operation.

    Note: A vehicle that has been “salvaged” or “rebuilt/restored” will be issued a different kind of Utah title, referred to as a “branded” title. A salvage vehicle’s Utah title will state: “Salvage.” If the vehicle has been rebuilt, the title will say “rebuilt/restored.”

    Utah law allows, under limited circumstances, some salvage vehicles to be rebuilt and to have the “brand” removed from the title if the vehicle was not damaged by flood or if the vehicle is newer than seven years old.

    An operator of a motor vehicle auction shall provide a purchaser of a salvage vehicle a disclosure statement. See Utah Code Section UCA §41-3-201(3)(e)(ii) https://le.utah.gov/asp/codelookup/codelookup.asp?section=41-3-201 for the required wording of the disclosure statement.

    For more information on selling salvage vehicles, see Salvage and Rebuilt/Restored Vehicles http://mved.utah.gov/dealer-sales/salvage on the MVED website.

    For motor vehicle title history on a vehicle, visit the: National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) | BJA



    https://dmv.utah.gov/titles/salvage-vehicles




    Buyer Beware

    The best advice is to spot a one-time wreck before you buy it. These vehicles can look good but there are some telltale signs:

    Be suspicious of any vehicle that has a recently issued out-of-state title.

    Be suspicious of a private seller whose name does not appear on the title.

    Use an on-line commercial title-search company to research the history of the vehicle.

    Check the door gaps. Make sure that the door itself isn’t touching the fender when you open the door.

    Check both sides. It is unusual that both sides will be exactly the same when a vehicle has been damaged.

    Examine the paint. Check the doorjamb, moldings, and plastic cover items. Because any time a vehicle has been sprayed over these areas may be missed.

    Check the dashboard, which may not have been repaired due to the cost, right up to the molding, which may have chips in it.

    Check the roof and doors for body filler. The finish of the body filler may not be super smooth and this is an indication that there’s a problem. It is harder to see dents when the paint on the vehicle is light so feel it with your hands. Sometimes minor dents aren’t repaired at all.

    Check that the rear tailgate and body match. Gaps in some areas and a tighter fit in another is an indication there has been improper fitting of the body panels to the rest of the chassis.

    Check the paint match between the tailgate and the quarter panel. Don’t look at the vehicle in the rain or in the night because both can hide a lot of blemishes.

    Have the vehicle checked by a body shop and mechanic. Ask for a complete mechanical report of the vehicle, what repairs you may have to do in the future and if the vehicle has been damaged.

    Check under the car for damage.

    If, for example the gas tank is damaged, or dented, it will give you an inaccurate reading on your fuel gauge and it is just another indication of problems.

    Keep your eyes open, ask a lot of questions and if you have doubts, walk away.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You're right, it doesn't. I wouldn't trust a car dealer as far as I can spit.

    The following is a free site where you can insert the VIN and get a history of the car.

    Check Any VIN - It's Free | Free Vehicle History and VIN Check

    See if there is anything suspicious.

    Come back and post the VIN so I can run the report and see what you're looking at.

    Don't do anything with the dealer until we've discussed all the issues here. You can probably ignore him for a few days. Better yet, text him back and say you are going to talk to a lawyer and you'll be back in touch in a few days. Don't go into any detail and don't respond any further.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You should verify the information with the DMV before anything else. They will tell you if there are title problems to resolve.
    If you do return the vehicle get some assurance in writing that you will be reimbursed for all your expenses as a result of their error.
    There is no reason you should take a loss over this. Until you agree to terms, don't return the vehicle.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I'd want the money on the table before driving the car back on to the lot. :D
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Utah law is very clear about sales of "branded titled cars":

    https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title41/Chapter1A/C41-1a-P10_1800010118000101.pdf






    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The "not so secret skinny" on dealers specializing in selling "branded" or "parts" titled vehicles in Utah:

    Utah's 'buyer beware state' status should prompt car buyers to investigate car's history

    Branded Titles Car Specialists | Prestman Auto | in Salt Lake City, UT | Serving West Jordan

    3 Things to Know About Branded Car Titles in Utah




    A Utah branded title can mean two things:
    1 - the vehicle has been salvaged
    2 - it has been rebuilt.

    A salvaged vehicle is one that has been so severely damaged, often from collision or flooding, that the cost of repairing it would exceed its fair market value.

    A rebuilt vehicle is a salvaged vehicle that has been repaired and can legally be driven on the road.

    The brand on the title will always specify whether the vehicle is salvaged or rebuilt.
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Even better.
     

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