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Is it legal to misrepresent new vehicle's MSRP?

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by C Manony, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. C Manony

    C Manony Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Massachusetts
    Hi,

    Summary: Is it legal to misrepresent a car's MSRP in Massachusetts?

    Here are the details:


    The hook:
    A dealer advertises a new vehicle's MSRP on their website at $93,870.
    I called the dealer and verified the MSRP of the vehicle with all the options is in fact $93,870 and the vehicle is in stock.
    The dealer did not have the window sticker in electronic form to email to me before heading their way, but did confirm it has all the proper specs I am looking for that would constitute a MSRP of $93,870.
    I made a verbal commitment to make a deal at MSRP price of $93,870 and drove 45 minutes to go see the vehicle and sign on the deal.

    The play:
    I get to the dealership and I see the vehicle and its window sticker. The window sticker has a MSRP of $82,870, an $11,000 increase from what they published on their website and told me on the phone.
    I spoke with the general sales manager and he ridiculed me for suggesting that he will sell a vehicle at MSRP.

    I have screenshots of the vehicle and its VIN as listed on their website at the $93,870 MSRP and a picture of the window sticker of $82,870.

    Any recourse here so the dealer does not continue these deceitful practices?

    Thank you,
    C Manony
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Your MA state sales tax rate = 6.25%
    Some MA counties also apply sales taxes.

    Using 1.0625 * 82870 = 88049.37
    I'm sure there are many other fees and taxes applied in Taxachusetts.
    The also adds in extras such as document fees, etc.
     
    Red Kayak likes this.
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    So when you saw that sticker, did you go ahead and buy the vehicle anyway at the higher price, negotiate a lower one, or did you walk away?
     
  4. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    That happens to also be the sales tax rate of the Republic of Texas (ROT), too. Do you think the ROT qualifies then as TAXAS? :D
     
    justblue likes this.
  5. C Manony

    C Manony Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I walked away. It left a sour taste + it feels unethical and not right to other dealers who play by the book. I am interested in learning whether this is acceptable behavior or whether there are laws to protect consumers from deceitful acts.
     
  6. C Manony

    C Manony Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Not sure I follow. MSRP obviously does not include taxes or fees.

    FWIW, all in the vehicle would have been about $99K including taxes, fees, etc.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Car dealers are liars and thieves. They are taught that in car dealer school. You are very naive to think that there is anything you can do about that.

    What you can do is avoid phone conversations with dealers and do your research on the car you want before you go to the dealer's lot.

    There are plenty of resources on the internet about car dealer tactics and how to overcome them.
     
    army judge likes this.
  8. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    All right, then you have no losses here and thus nothing for which to sue. However, the dealer may well have violated both federal and Massachusetts consumer protection laws by giving out misleading information about the car to induce the sale. You can make a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Massachusetts Attorney General. You can make both complaints online and it takes just a few minutes.

    Note that complaints to the state AG will get added to the state online database that other consumers can search, so your information would assist other potential car buyers of the issue.
     
    Red Kayak likes this.
  9. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    Dealer did not violate anything, with the exception of Tesla and Saturn, many car manufacturers state it is up to the dealers to set price. It is called ADM (advanced dealer markup) and a lot of dealers do it. I can not believe you would not have built the vehicle out on the car makers website and be able to see for yourself what the MSRP is. You should know or should have known what the cost of the vehicle is from the maker and if they are marking it up.

    The market is crazy right now with used vehicles bringing premium money and new vehicles selling at MSRP plus. Dealers are not getting inventory like they were so they are making up for it by selling at MSRP plus. All you can do is what you did walk away if you don't want to pay it.
     
  10. C Manony

    C Manony Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Just to be clear, issue is not about setting the price. The question is can dealers misrepresented MSRP? In this case, real MSRP is $82,870, but they advertise it as MSRP $93,870?
     
  11. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Obviously the CAN do it since they DID do it?

    So you can buy the car for $11,000 less. What are you kvetching about?
     
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  12. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    True, dealer set price not manufacturer. The Ford Bronco is hot right now and they have first editions with 50k markup. Are they misrepresenting price? Yes, but that is the price they set and they advertise. All they have to do is find 1 turkey to pay it.
     

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