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Dealer did not disclose Totaled Car and Compression Brake Fittings

What Now? I reported it to Motor Vehicle in New York and an Investigator was assigned to the case. He determined a full refund was in order. The dealer is saying he doesn’t have the money. (crap) I know it’s dangerous to drive but sometimes I have to. Small claims court? Motor Vehicle court hearing could take months. Total Frustration.

The dealer could give you another car that hasn’t been wrecked. If you insist on a refund, talk to the state again. They made the ruling and they should have the horsepower to make it stick. Maybe they could yank his license if he doesn’t pay up.

I didn’t think of an exchange. If he can be trusted that sounds like a possible option.I am thinking of different things – small claims court maybe. The Investigator is not putting any pressure on him from what I can tell. He says he has more time to give me my money back and we “just have to sit and wait.” It’s not something I do very well. Thank you.

What exactly are you saying happened? Making a conclusion based upon the header to your post is dangerous and I can’t put the “compression brake fittings” comment in context.

Are you saying a brake line was repaired with a compression fitting?

I really don’t want to guess.

When you say “totaled” please give some details as to what defect or damage totaled the car.

Mechanical advice yes, legal advice no.

How much did you pay for this vehicle?
I am asking because the limit for compensation in a lot of small claims courts is $5,000. If that is the case with the court in your jurisdiction, and if the vehicle cost more than $5k, this would not be a good strategy for you to pursue.

I Don’t Think This Matters Too Much If The DMV Investigator Determined A Full Refund Was In Order.

I don’t mind guessing. I’d say the brake lines were compromised by splicing and this creates a very dangerous situation. This is a no-no in the automtive world. I’ll guess that the brake lines are just an obvious sign of the “quality” of the repair work.

I’ll guess that the car was previously wrecked or somehow had damage and the repair costs exceeded the value of the vehicle. Shortcuts were probably taken in the “repair” of the vehicle in order to make it profitable, again possibly making it unsafe.

Kate knows it’s unsafe to drive and stated this.

Personally, I wouldn’t take another vehicle from this place. I can just picture how reliable it would not be and how difficult it would be to make it usable.

Small Claims is a possibility, but many times in many locations it is nearly impossible collecting a settlement, even though court ordered.


Everything you said is true. I don’t think I can count on Motor Vehicle although they could shut him down. It’s just their procedures take so much time.
How can it be that such crooks are easily allowed to rip off people. And that it’s so hard for me to get justice.
Yes, the car had been stolen, wrecked and put back together again.

Here’s A Discussion On The Use Of Compression Fittings And Brake Line Repair.

Click the Car Talk Discussion link:

I have seen places on the web where so called “mechanics” say compression fittings are OK to use for steel brake lines. I wonder what else they consider safe.

Also, this is an example of a whole nasty situation that would have been easy to avoid with a simple and relatively inexpensive pre-purchase check-up by a trusted professional. This advice is given regularly on this discussion site.


It’s Just Not Right! Maybe You Should Try And Recover What You Can First And Then Help Get Him Shut Down.


In reality did the fitting fail? or is this just the potential of a failure? We live with the potential of mechanical part failure causing death every day,no matter how high a degree of engineering is used.

Consider this carefully before you do it. If this is too early in the process, it might not work.

Contact a local television news operation. Many, possibly one in your area, champion consumer complaints. If they show up on the car dealer’s lot, it could intimidate him into paying you off immediately. If they run the story, it will cost him 10s of thousand of dollars at least in lost future sales. It might even shut him down completely if he really can’t afford to pay you right now. That would make an exchange impossible. If you want to try an exchange, then do so first. You might even be able to coax him into giving a nicer car to you. If he balks at a trade, tell him you are thinking about reporting him to the consumer aid group at a TV news station. Don’t identify one, just plant the seed. If he doesn’t cave immediately, give him 48 hours. Then drop the hammer.

From What I’m Reading Here, The Fittings Haven’t Failed, But The Potential Is There.

Kate said, " . . . I know it’s dangerous to drive but sometimes I have to."

It appears Kate is afraid whenever it must be driven. Also, we don’t know the integrity of the rest of the repair. It seems like this car wouldn’t pass a mandatory vehicle inspection in states that have one. I understand the apprehension that goes with this vehicle.

" We live with the potential of mechanical part failure causing death every day,no matter how high a degree of engineering is used." This is a true statement. However, we try not to drive a vehicle that has been identified to have flaws without correcting them first.


The car did pass inspection. The dealer probably did the inspection himself. I’m really confused about something – is this car absolutely unsafe to drive? Even the Investigator from Motor Vehicle said I could drive it but not to tell anyone he said that. And the Mechanic said “just don’t drive crazy”.
I don’t know what to do. I live in a place where a car is needed.
Kate is afraid every time she drives.

I like that idea. We have local cable in the county I live in but he is in a different county.

yes the brake line was repaired with a compression fitting. The car was stolen and in a wreck and smells like mold. The bottom is all rust.

2700 i paid.
he paid 500.

Why I ask for details is it is not clear if the DMV’s decision was just a opinion or just what type of weight does the decision carry. Was this decision based upon fraud in the sale (not disclosing a salvage title,pretty serious because it would involve document fraud unless the OP did not read their title said “salvage”) or was the decision for a full refund based upon the sale of a car that was unsafe and could not pass inspection?

As we see the OP says the car “passed inspection” but then throws cold water on the statement by saying the "dealer probably did it themselves.

Now we have three possible serious violations and some type of finding by a government agency but no action. To me something doesn’t sound right,the facts need to be more laid out. Our DMV here in AZ doesnt take document fraud lightly.

He’s endangering your life! You should not drive this car. Get a lawyer. This is beyond small claims court.

The DMV finding was made by a DMV Investigator who was assigned my case. He said my case was considered a priority because the car was unsafe to drive. He did a formal investigation and will file his report and conclusions. He told me that based on his findings, I should get a total refund. The reason I said “the dealer inspected it” is because it would not have passed inspection through a bona fide inspector. When the car was bought, at auction, the dealer was made aware that it was a salvage car but he did not pass that information along to me. I was given a copy of the Title, originally from Pennsylvania, and there is no indication that the car is salvage. Somehow, it got a clean Title.
I need to know if, indeed, the car cannot be driven with compression brake fittings. I read online several times that it cannot but both the mechanic and DMV inspector indicated it could.
And I have driven it.
Now there is a new problem - the car has died twice while driving it, while I am braking.
I appreciate your input.

rusty bottom and mold smell sounds like a Katrina(flood) car.