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Can a MA Auto dealer reneg on a purchase agreement

I purchased a car on 1/9/10, negotiated a price, signed a contract, gave a deposit and was awaiting title. When I test drove the vehicle it was noted that the radio/dashboard lights weren't working and was assured that would be fixed before delivery. On 1/22/10 the sales mgr. called me and said that the cost to repair the veh was $xxx and that if I wanted the veh I would have to pay the $xxx in addition to the contracted sales price or he was going to wholesale it instead of selling it to me. I refused based on our signed contract, and although mad, the sales mgr said okay (when I through out the "93a violation"...however on 1/23/10 the sales mgr. once again called and said he will not sell me the car and that he is now wholesaling it...as of today I still have not received my deposit back but I think this is a 93A violation and a breach of contract...any advice?

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Yes, that certainly smells fishy and appears to be a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A (our consumer protection act).  I would send a demand letter.  For your information here is a portion of 940 CMR 5.00 that is relevant:

 

5.04: Sales Requirements

Scope: 940 CMR 5.04 et seq. pertaining to sales requirements shall apply only to sales of motor vehicles which are purchased primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

(1) It is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for a dealer to fail to prepare a written contract for a sale of each motor vehicle and to provide a copy of such contract to the purchaser at the time the purchaser signs the contract in the form and manner prescribed in 940 CMR 5.04(2).

(2) It is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for a dealer to use any written or printed contract, form or agreement to evidence the sale of a motor vehicle which is not clearly entitled "MOTOR VEHICLE PURCHASE CONTRACT" and which does not state:

. . . . (d) The total contract price, including an itemized list of any charges for vehicle repair or preparation, optional accessories and documentary preparation which are not already included in the purchase price.

 

I think the tricky part will be figuring out what you will demand in the letter and what your damages might be.  In other words, are you going to demand he sell the car at the price agreed to or, if the car is gone, the difference between what he agreed to sell the car for and what you spent on a similar replacement.  Perhaps, after the dealer receives the demand letter, he will make you an offer you can't refuse.  Good luck.  For more information or to post a question, visit our Massachusetts Consumer Protection Discussion Forum.

 



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