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

Asked 12 months ago - 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.

Additional information

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. Thomas O. Moens

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . 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... more
  2. Christopher S. Wendland

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . 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... more
  3. Erik S. Fisk

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . 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... more
  4. Christopher Daniel Leroi

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . 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... more

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