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Misrepresentation by car dealer about trade in

I had recently purchased a new vehicle. Prior to going into the dealership, I did my home work. I was able to utilize the dealerships link in order to determine the actual trade in value of the vehicle. I had utilized the excellent condition link because it was a 2004 FX35 Infiniti with less than 49,000 original miles,in outstanding condition both in and outside, and I was the original owner. According to the dealer appraisal link which uses the Kelly Blue Book to determine trade in value, the value based on other criteria as well, came in at $21,300. When I presented this to the dealership, the salesman's answer was" I wish They'd Remove The Trade In Link From The Dealerships Page" which I found interesting. He had indicated that my vehicle wasn't in excellent condition which accounts for less than 2 % of all trade in's, but more in the category of Good. They ended allowing us $15,700 for the trade, well below the estimate that I relieved from there web site, as well as others. My wife really loved the new vehicle so against my better judgement went along with the purchase. When we had returned home, I immediately went back into the dealerships web site and got back into the trade-in appraisal link and guess what, by rating the trade-in as good per the salesman's determination and recommendation, the vehicles trade in allowance came in at $19,300, a difference of $3,600.00. I was duped. Other than never purchasing a vehicle from this dealership again and bad mouthing them to all friends and relatives, do I have any other actions that I can take against the dealership.

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If the dealership, through the salesman said:  "We will give you what the blue book allows for a car in "good" condition," but then gave you some lessor amount as a trade in, then you may have something.  But if the salesman said: "We think your car is in good condition and we will give you $X for it", then you are probably out of luck.  Do you see the difference?  The dealership is free to offer whatever they want as a trade in allowance, but they cannot lie to you or engage in any other form of deception. 

If the dealership made a misrepresentation, then you may want to look into contacting a Massachusetts consumer law attorney. You could also try handling the case on your own by using a 93A demand letter, but the amount in question is significant and, depending on what was said, the issues could be complex.

Also, if you contact an attorney, she may be able to review the entire transaction and determine that, even though there was no direct lie, the conduct of the salesman was intended to deceive.  In that case you may have a claim under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Law (93A). As you probably know, these disputes always raise questions of proof (If you have no written evidence, how do you prove the salesman said X, Y, or Z?).  However, sometimes, a well worded letter on an attorney's letterhead will convince a business to give back some cash in order to avoid the expense, and potential embarrassment, of litigation.  Good luck. 


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