Many car manufacturers offer certified pre-owned programs. These programs usually involve an inspection that is conducted by an authorized dealership. The vehicle is then “certified,” which allegedly means that it has been proven to meet the manufacturer’s standards for safety and performance. The certified pre-owned program is also often accompanied by a manufacturer’s warranty. For consumers, a certified pre-owned vehicle is appealing because it has presumably been checked out in detail and was found to be in good condition.

Helpful Tips About Identifying Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle Scams

Unfortunately, there is potential for auto fraud when it comes to certified pre-owned vehicles. The following is an overview of the problem:

  • When purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle, the consumer often pays a premium because the vehicle comes with a manufacturer’s warranty and is marketed as having been inspected thoroughly to ensure that it meets the manufacturer’s strict standards.
  • With a certified pre-owned vehicle scam, the dealer may not have conducted the detailed inspection of the vehicle.
  • Some vehicles are certified as pre-owned even when they show clear signs of having been in a collision, such as evidence of bodywork, mismatched paint, and unresolved structural problems.
  • These allegedly certified pre-owned vehicles may be in such poor shape that they are unsafe to drive.
  • Whether "certified" or not, since a certified car may have been in an accident, always ask if the vehicle has ever been in an accident.  Get a yes or no answer, (do not rely on a Carfax or AutoCheck) or leave.  It is best to have a witness to hear the dealer's response to this.

If you purchased a previously damaged vehicle that was certified pre-owned, it is important to seek guidance from an experienced legal professional. We have helped many clients obtain compensation as a result of certified pre-owned scams and other forms of auto fraud. We encourage you to contact us today at 804-282-7900 for more information.

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