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Robert I. Eber

Robert Eber’s Answers

2 total

  • Car lien

    bought a used car from a dealer and now they are having a hard time getting me a tag. They keep renewing my 45 day tag but not the bill of sale. What should I do?

    Robert’s Answer

    I can only tell you what I would advise a New York client to do. Go straight to the your Dep't of Motor Vehicles and tell them your problem. (According to their web site, there's an office in Dillon at 1705 Highway 301 S., Dillon, SC 29536, Phone: 843-774-4712). Many states will mark a title with something like "Salvage", that the vehicle was "Returned To The Manufacturer or Dealer Because It Did Not Conform To Its Warranty,", etc. In addition, in New York, a dealer must indicate on the sales contract when a passenger car had been used primarily as a police car, taxicab, driver education or rental car. So there just may be something in the vehicle's history that's causing the problem, whether the dealer was aware of it or not. Good luck!

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  • Is it cost effective/quicker to attempt to unwind auto transaction myself without a lawyer?

    I have written to several lawyers a blurb and all I seem to get is very junior lawyers, paralegals doing an in-take questionaire returning my calls. I am not looking to hire on a contingency. I can and will pay, of course, but I have not heard f...

    Robert’s Answer

    I am a New York attorney with a large automobile dealer practice and have some suggestions. I can't tell from your statement that you want to "unwind the deal" whether the contract is still executory, that is, the car has not yet been delivered, or whether you actually have the vehicle. First, recognize that the automobile dealer-customer relationship can be a volatile and emotional one, and that presenting yourself as an irate customer' will only make it more difficult to achieve your goal - dealers are used to dealing with irate customers. Second, make sure you have some basis for your claim for "unwinding" the deal — read and re-read your purchase contract, front and back, carefully; research "unwinding or rescinding an automobile purchase contract in California" on Google; call your local consumer protection agency and see whether they can point you to some applicable laws such as Lemon Laws, if that is your problem. For example, in New York, some customers think they have a three-day right of rescission on the purchase of vehicles, which they don't. Research the reputation of the dealership - good dealers want to maintain their good reputation and maintain their high CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index), and are much more willing to accommodate a customer for 'good will' if at all possible (it really helps if you have some basis for your claim, as I previously noted); bad dealerships won't care. But bad dealerships may have already attracted the attention of regulatory agencies that have control over their business practices. Depending on your particular state, some of the following agencies may exercise more control and have the attention of the dealer more than others: the local consumer protection agency, the state Attorney General., and perhaps most importantly, the agency that controls the license under which the dealer does business. In New York, that is the Department of Motor Vehicles, and many times I have appeared at hearings before the regional DMV office on customer complaints. They have the power to fine the dealer, suspend his license, or even in extreme cases revoke it. Complaints to the manufacturer sometimes can be effective, depending on the manufacturer, and the dealership's relationship with the manufacturer. Do everything you can to get beyond the 800 customer service number. Every manufacturer has zones or regions that are in direct contact and control of their dealers. They do not make this information easy for you to find, but if you can get to talk to a zone official you may get some help.
    Again, none of this is going to be of any help to you if you did not have some actual basis for your complaint — without that, you will be just another irate customer. Finally, please be aware if you are ready taken possession of the car, you will have a major problem, especially if you have financed the purchase, since your financing agreement will absolve the lender of any claims you may have against the dealer and no matter what, you have to pay the loan. The only times I've seen a dealer take back the car is when there was fraud, such as an odometer rollback, a car that has been in an accident, a flood, etc. Oh, and I agree with the other comments - forget the class action.
    Good luck!

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