Car Dealer Fraud Successes

Renno vs. Hensel Oldsmobile

This case involved a brand new Oldsmobile station wagon. Mr. Renno purchased his vehicle during the evening and the next day he noticed the paint did not match. He also found masking tape and overspray under the car. The dealer denied they did any repairs on the car. After the lawsuit was filed, we were able to find where the dealer ordered their auto body supplies and paint. It was discovered that the exact color paint was ordered at the time Hensel claimed they did not paint the car. An expert chemist was retained by us who did testing on the paint and was able to prove that most of the vehicle did not have the original factory paint. At trial the dealer denied painting the car and General Motors testified that "it was one of the finest examples of paint work that had ever seen." The judge and jury laughed out loud. The jury was able to view the car and determined that Hensel had indeed committed fraud by not disclosing that the car had been painted extensively. There was a large award including substantial punitive damages. Hensel appealed and during the court of appeal hearing, the head judge asked the attorney for Hensel if he was the lawyer that was going to argue that painting a new car and not telling the buyer about it was OK. Again, laughter. The court of appeal found that there was fraud and Hensel had to pay even more money. After Hensel paid the substantial judgment they closed the dealership, but not before complaining to our office that we caused them to have to close down. We replied that their fraudulent behavior was the problem, not us.

Fraud Case #2

In what had to be the most outrageous fraud case we have ever seen, a gentlemen bought a used Ford truck with the remainder of the factory warranty in effect. The check engine light on his truck came on immediately after purchase and the truck stalled on the freeway. The client towed the vehicle into the nearest authorized Ford dealership and they told him the car was missing a catalytic converter. This was why the engine light was on. The original catalytic converter was not stolen off the truck because there was a straight pipe where the converter should have been. The client took the truck back to the selling dealer who told him that it would cost $1,800.00 for them to install a converter. The client paid for the converter and it was installed on his truck. The truck still did not operate properly. This case settled almost immediately after we filed it because the attorney for the dealer realized the dealership's position that the plaintiff removed the catalytic converter himself was ridiculous. The case settled for a substantial amount including a large punitive damage recovery for the client.

Fraud Case #3 

A first-time buyer bought a new General Motors vehicle from a dealer in Los Angeles. He suspected that something was wrong when parts started falling off his new car. When he told the dealer that he suspected that something was wrong with the car the selling dealer told him "It's your car, it's your problem. Get a lawyer." He did and we immediately filed suit. We sued General Motors, who came to the rescue by promptly throwing the dealer under the bus. General Motors immediately provided us with documents that showed major damage to the car. It was clear that the vehicle had been in an accident. A week before trial, the dealer offered the client a new car and $300,000.00 in damages. Apparently they did not think they would do well at trial. The client took the settlement and told us he was very happy he had called our office.