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Can you sue the car dealer for an error they made while filling out the title?

Davenport, IA |

The licensing and title clerk at a car dealer incorrectly filed out the title to the car we bought. She wrote down the mileage incorrectly, by writing a 4 when it should have been a 6. She attempted to fix her mistake, but you can clearly tell that there is a 4 there. Now we can not title and register the car until the dealership registers it first because of this mistake. The lady who helped me at the registration office said that the mistake is consider as odometer fraud. Can we sue the dealer for the huge inconvenience they have caused us by incorrectly filling out the mileage on the title?

They also screwed up our address, after we had corrected them, so all our paperwork states the wrong address. They sent us an affidavit of correction but we are still annoyed by their incompetence.

The car was bought at a dealer in Illinois. Because of their error we will be hit with a penalty fee for not registering the car within 30 days of the purchase date. A fee that is unknown at this time because it's based off how much later than the 30 days it takes us to register the car.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. You can sue anyone for anything. The question is, will you win the lawsuit? Here it seems unlikely. You would need to quantify your damages, and it would be up to you to prove your case. Being annoyed by incompetence is not generally a valid claim for money damages. Assuming the amount is less than $5,000, you could sue in small claims. You would need to pay the filing fee of $85 and a fee to serve the documents on the defendant, which ranges from around $20 to $50. Plan to spend a good portion of the afternoon at the courthouse for your mediation and trial. Then, IF you win, it is up to you to try collect from the defendant. If the dealer is willing to correct its mistake, that would seem to me to be the most efficient way to handle this.

    By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no documentation, therefore, our response to your question is treated only as a hypothetical, and as such it is merely general in nature. You should not rely on this response in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without discussing this matter with an attorney. If we had the opportunity to ask you sufficient questions and review relevant documents so that we were satisfied we had all of the relevant facts and circumstances, our response might differ significantly. Without the opportunity to ask you questions, and review all relevant documents and memoranda, we are simply unable to provide any form of legal advice. Our response to your question does not create any attorney-client relationship between us, and we are not acting as your attorney. We reserve the right to decline representation in any case. By answering your question, we are under no obligation to answer further questions. There are very specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit, replying to a lawsuit filed against you, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights. You should contact an attorney immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and so that you are aware of those deadlines. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you might be forever barred from asserting your rights or defending your position. The attorney answering this question is licensed in Illinois and Iowa only.

  2. The dealer made sloppy errors, and you're upset because of the inconveniences that have resulted. I wouldn't advise anyone to file suit based on what you've said. So far, you haven't stated any damages suffered -- by which I mean real money damages. But if you think you've got something, contact an attorney to get a more complete analysis and advice.

    DISCLAIMER: I am an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa only and not in any other state. The response I have provided is based on the limited information stated in your question or hypothetical scenario. Quite often, a more complete understanding of the facts would lead to different advice or to a broader discussion of relevant or related considerations. The answer provided does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. You should not decide to act or refrain from acting based on my response, which is an attempt to provide general information on a legal topic as presented by you. The law is subject to frequent change and varies from state to state. Also, legal matters often involve deadlines that may significantly affect your legal rights. You should always consult with an attorney in your own state who is knowledgeable in the subject matter, and you should do so as soon as possible.

  3. You can sue, but it would be a waster of time and money. Better to talk with the dealership and have them rectify their mistakes. They were sloppy and made mistakes. We all do so at times

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.

  4. Good god. Take your business to another dealer. The affidavit of correction is there for a reason. This is not a viable case.

    The comments listed here are of a general nature and should not be understood to create a formal attorney-client relationship -- that is, I am not, and I cannot give you legal advice here. I am licensed in Iowa and to become your attorney, I need to understand the particular facts and circumstances of your legal question.

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