Know Your Rights

SmithMarco Wins a Used Car Lemon Case

A Chicago family went  to Infiniti of Orland Park to buy a used 2005 Infiniti G35 as a gift for their son who was about to attend college.  The salesman told the family that the car only had one previous owner, had only been driven locally, and had sustained no prior damage.  Unfortunately, the family later found out that what the salesman said was entirely fabricated. The vehicle had multiple owners.  Worse, the vehicle had been involved in a collision in the past where it sustained in excess of $16,000 in damage.

This family came to SmithMarco with their problem. Through discovery and investigation, we determined that the dealership actually sold the vehicle twice before selling it to our client. The dealership was well aware of the accident damage through its own service records as they had performed their own repairs on the vehicle, and their own expert noticed the accident damage.  The lawyers at SmithMarco proved that the dealership engaged in illegal selling practices that included keeping this important information from their sales people. The sales people are not given any access to important records within the possession of the dealership that reflect the true history of the vehicle. Instead, the sales people are advised to rely on an Autocheck report - a database that provides vehicle histories - which the dealership personnel themselves acknowledged offered incomplete information.

In court, Infiniti of Orland Park tried to claim that they didn't know about the damage to the vehicle; when confronted with the records that they had in their possession, they tried to argue that the salesman was a rogue employee. Those arguments did not work. After a week long trial ending on October 5, 2012, after deliberating for only one hour, a jury found for the consumers and awarded $5,000 in actual damages for the diminished value of the vehicle and $30,000 in punitive damages.  If you, or anyone you know, questions a used car purchase, contact our office and let the attorneys at SmithMarco help you.


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