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Dealership lied to me and sold me an abused vehicle

I purchased a 2005 Jeep Liberty 10/08/08 with 21.7k miles. It looked and smeeled new. I was told it was being sold as-is because the 3/36 had expired, and I was fine with that. I declined the extended warranty because I was assured the remainder of the Jeep Powertrain warranty had 40k+ miles on it(which was never transferred to me)I was also assured numerous times that the lady who had just taded it in, bought all her cars from them, and had it regularly and exclusively serviced and maitained by them. I had no reason to doubt them. They claim on their website that every vehicle is inspected and ready for sale. After I drove for 2k miles, 90 days, the engine seized. Come to find out, long story short, the oil had never ever been changed, and it is impossible an inspection was ever done prior to them selling the car to me. I also found out it had two open recalls at the time of my purchase, which were not disclosed to me. My complaint with the BBB went nowhere, and the dealer even falsified documents. The Attorney General’s office says they do not see any legal violations and cannot pursue in court. I have contacted a local TV station and Angie’s List to resolve this. I cannot find an attorney to help me. I am a single mom with limited resources. Suggestions???

Fix the car or junk the car and move on. If you vote to fix, make sure you get estimates from a couple of trusted independent mechanics. I would never let the selling dealer touch my car after something like this has happened.

I don’t see where the dealer falsified any documents. Whatever was said orally to make the sale is not generally contracturally binding.

Learning point is to get in writing all claims you want enforced in the contract; and get a trusted mechanic’s inspection before you purchase the car. The engine condition might have shown up in the inspection results.

There is no legal requirement for anyone to go in and get recalls done. Usually, good dealers check their data base and get them done when they inspect and certify their used cars. Keep in mind “certify” can have a wide variance of interpretations.

As a matter of course, I always do a service to any used car I buy as soon as I get it, and/or verify what has/has not been done to it, maintenance-wise. That allows me to start up with a good baseline for the car. The last car I bought came with a short list of items done by the selling dealer (like oil change and air filter) so I didn’t re-do them.

Unfortunately, I can’t offer any better advice than hindsight and knowing what you need to improve on when you buy a car next time.

you mean the dealership has no ‘used car’ warranty? not 3 months, 3000 miles? nothing? you have you checked the actual powertrain warranty to see what the conditions of it following new owners is?

i am not totally sure, but you shouldn’t have to have a warranty transferred to you, it should go with the vehicle. was this a jeep dealership?

how do you know the oil had never been changed? had you checked the oil level at all in the 3 months you drove it?

unfortunately this sounds like he said, she said. sounds like you may be just throwing away good money to fix or fight this.

please explain what “engine seized” means. more details.

Well, you wouldn’t see where they falsified. I didn’t attach them. They included a buyers guide that I didnt sign that doesn’t even belong to my car. The VIN’s don’t match. I also found out during this whole mess that Chrysler had placed a restriction on the VIN, something I would not have been able too find out. If I could afford to out $4000 into a car I have only made 3 payments on, I would have bought new and not used. They should have disclosed the recalls to me. To me, buying from a dealer that bears the name of the manufacturer of the car you are buying implies certain things. Why wouldn’t I buy from some schmuck down the road then? Oh wait, I did.

I think you’ve done everything you can possibly do. Your only step at this point is to take them to court. If the Attorney General or a Lawyer can’t help I’m not sure if you have a case. You say they falsified documents…Can you PROVE this. It’s what you think, what you know and what you can PROVE. You may know they falsified documents, but if you can’t PROVE it then it’s going to be difficult to win this.

Buying a used car is a gamble. I use to work with a guy that would lease a new car every other year…He’d put 40k+ miles on the lease and he’d NEVER EVER do any maintenance…Not even change the oil. He said…why should he since he’s getting rid of it in two years. He’s show some phony receipts if asked when he turned in the lease…but they rarely ever asked…especially since he was getting a new car from them.


Where did you buy this vehicle from? A Jeep dealer or used car lot? Have you tried contacting Jeep in the matter? Why did the service department of the Jeep dealer(if one) where you purchased push a warranty claim through?

How do you know the oil was never changed? Who says so?

I’m really sorry to hear about your travails with this vehicle. It does sound like the dealer is at least slip-shod, if not downright sleazy. For instance, every dealership with which I have ever done business has performed recall-related repairs when I brought my car in for service, even if I had not requested the repairs.

Simply inputting the vehicle’s VIN into their computer system when doing service should bring up notices of open recalls on that particular vehicle. Since these recall-related repairs were not done, I would tend to think that the car was never brought to the dealership for service, or that the dealership’s service department is really badly run.

However, I agree with the others that you likely have little or no legal recourse–especially if the AG’s office says that you have no case.

This is the time to learn from your experiences. The rules to follow for having less trouble with a used car are:

*Always have a used car inspected by YOUR mechanic prior to purchase. If the seller balks, walk away.

*Only buy a vehicle that comes with records of its maintenance. A fairly large number of people do not maintain their vehicles, and the second (or third, or fourth) owner is the one who pays the price–literally.

*Never believe anything that a car salesman tells you. This is a sad, but necessary fact of life.

And, a general comment about the so-called Better Business Bureau:
This is essentially a privately-held company that sells local franchises, that functions as an old-boys’ membership club for businesses, and that has NO regulatory or punitive authority whatsoever. For some reason, many people seem to think that the BBB is a governmental agency, and nothing could be further from the truth. A few months ago, Smart Money magazine published an expose detailing the BBB’s failure to provide any help to most consumers who sought their help.

I think there’s a lot more to this story than what is being related here. Falsified documents, non-matching VIN, oil never changed, etc. are all hard for me to swallow.

As to open recalls, the factory and the dealer are under no legal obligation to notify you of those or even make you aware of them.
As to what you’re told by a salesman, a sales pitch is called “puffing” and as far as I know it’s legal in every state.

I’d like to be more helpful but there are far too many questions on this complaint.
How about having the dealer you bought the vehicle from come onto this site and fill in a few blanks?

I purchased from a Chrysler Jeep dealer, a main reason why I didn’t think it necessary to take to a private mechanic. I checked BBB for complaints, Atty Gen. site, and Angie’s list. They are a well known dealer in my area, and have been in business for 45 years. Plus a guy I sort of know helped with the transaction. And I know the oil was never ever changed because it still has the factory installed oil filter. I have pictures to back that up. The documents that were falsified: the buyers guide they have on file doesn’t match my VIN. I declined GAP insurance, yet was charged $420 on the back end after the transaction, only to be notified by my lender over 30 days after the fact. The conversations I have had with all don’t seem to look beyond the surface. Chrysler won’t help me now because about 2 weeks after my transaction, the Chrysler Jeep side of the dealership ceased to be. How nice for me right? I am just disgusted and appalled that a company that claims to inspect every vehicle didn’t even bother to try to cover any of this up. I did request service records. But silly me, believed them when they said they would get those together for me within the week. Of course they couldn’t because they don’t exist. I am still trying to reconcile the fact that there may have been a manufacturer’s placed restriction on my VIN. That would be the reason the warranty did not transfer, because it was void.

Okay, the other stuff I get, but I don’t understand why you are upset about the recalls. If the Jeep were still running, it would just be a matter of taking it to the nearest Jeep dealer and having them do the recall work, at no charge to you. I would drop that part from my complaint.

Buy a used car - Get it inspected first if you can’t do it yourself. No exceptions.

One of the recalls-the main safety issue- cannot be resolved unless the engine is out. And the fact that there were two open recalls just solidifies the fact that they did absolutely no inspection of this car when they took it as trade, nor when they sold it to me, nor when I had it towed to them initially to fix it when this problem surfaced. It was only when at their suggestion that I had it towed to yet another dealer that all of this was discovered.

I still don’t get it. Has Jeep denied you a warranty claim on this vehicle? If not tow it to the next local Jeep dealer.

It is at a Jeep dealer. They cannot perform all the warranty work because the engine is blown and I told them not to touch it until I know my options with the dealer that sold it like that.The fact of the matter is I was sold an abused vehicle. And they knew it.

After you drove the vehicle for 90 days (2,000 miles), the engine seized? How many times in those 90 days did you check the oil? Why didn’t you notice the oil was getting low and turning into sludge?

Making a “long story short” only leaves out details we need to know in order to help.

The vehicle was sold “as is”, which removes a lot of legal obligations, if not all of them. “As is” means that the dealer is admitting that the car is not reliable and may be no good at all. This leads me to make a brand new statement about buying cars. "If you can’t afford to lose all the money that you spend on a car, don’t buy an “as is” vehicle."
As long as I have been alive, good advice has been delivered in code. You’ve all heard about having two ears and one mouth and how you should listen twice as often as you speak. That sounds good but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask questions. My advice is even worse. “If Humpty Dumpty had met an ounce of prevention, he wouldn’t have created a problem for all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.” That statement leaves only one line to read between, but you can stuff an entire galaxy into the space, or the entire contents of my shop-vac. Fat lot of good I did the original poster with that bit of writing. I don’t write anything good BEFORE a disaster. Success just isn’t that inspiring.
I would like to thank the OP for reminding me that I have been very lucky in my life. I have bought cars without checking anything at all and they never fell apart until I forgot to check the oil. That’one was on me. The oil leaked out through the oil pressure sensor which had the wire unplugged. They probably did that to prevent it from leaking!

Well, shame on me for believing the statement “this is being sold as-is only because the 3/36 has expired” When I am the one spending all the money, why do I have to work so hard to make sure they are telling the whole truth? I would never buy anything if it worked that way for every purchase. I mean, please.

No one here is calling you names and certainly no one here is trying to make you feel bad.

The problem is that you’re claiming this dealer is guilty of everything under the sun and providing absolutely no details as to why. With enough detail I might even agree with you.

Just to get the ball rolling here, let’s take this VIN business.
What doesn’t match? Exactly what is bogus about the VIN? Number on the car doesn’t match the one on the title? What “restriction” are you referring to?

I take that to mean “please explain”. “As is” means that we are covering ourselves well, because we don’t want to be held responsible for whatever happens after we make the sale. We do this because we expect bad things to happen. Not knowing things is excusable. Feeling like an idiot is just another way to say that you are capable of learning. With all your getting, get understanding. Don’t be ripped off because a guardian angel has gone AWOL. A stitch in time…

My goodness, I never intended to make you feel stupid. I just wanted some details from the story that were left out. Frankly, I don’t care whose fault it is. I only have your side of an incomplete story, so I have and will continue to refrain from assigning blame.

Now that I have made it known that I have no interest in pointing fingers, I believe this problem was preventable.

It is important to learn even if your car was brand spanking new, you should check the oil between oil changes. You might benefit in the future from checking the oil at least once a week. I don’t think this was your fault, but I do think you could have prevented the engine from seizing if you had been checking the oil as often as you should.

Wouldn’t you like to know how to prevent this from happening with your next vehicle? Don’t you want to learn something from this experience?

Any used vehicle should be checked over by an independent shop before purchasing with the possible exception of those that come with a complete multiopint computer report of everything checked and done in prepping the vehicle…and even these it’s a good idea to get checked. Any honest dealer will print this report for you free of charge upon request for any vehicle under consideration.

I have no doubt that the dealer took advantage of you. Unfortunately, because used car purchases are such a major problem, most states have statutes that clearly define used vehicle purchases as “as-is” unless otherwisw defined in writing.

Unfortunately I think your only option is to try small claims court. Be advised that your odds are poor.

Sorry, but you may have to write this off as the cost of an education in car buying.

Sincere best.