Legal advice?

So I was going to sell my 03ford tauru, and after the car dealer test drove it then he inspected it and this is what he told me…

The car is two frames welded togeather, and poorly at that. (not factory welds) said the person who sold the car to me had to of rebuilt it useing a 2nd cars frames. Looking at the back of the car we noticed that there is no VIN number on the back half which is another cars frame.

Carfax and another site said it’s never been wrecked.

Is there anything I could do legaly to get my money back? The dealer said it was also a risk to drive it speaking if somone hit us it could snap in two.

A couple of things about the dealer’s account strike me as odd.

  1. I know nothing of Taurus, but front-wheel drive cars generally don’t have frames, other than the subframes at the front and rear where the suspension components are attached. Those subframes are not connected to each other directly.

  2. There would be no VIN on the rear undercarriage of the car. Off the top of my head, the only places I would expect to find a VIN would be on top of the dash and in the driver door sill. I would not expect to find it anywhere on the undercarriage.

I would consider that dealer’s story to be suspect unless someone else corroborated his story, or you can drive the car up on ramps and look for yourself.

I’ve seen a few cars that were “hybrids” in which two were welded together to make one. A dealer I worked for took two of these kind of vehicles in trade only to sadly discover later there were total wrecks.

Granted, the vehicle is a unibody but when it comes to making money anything is possible. For future reference, CarFax and others should not get all of your trust because they’re frequently wrong and/or incomplete.

I’d say take the car to a reputable body shop and have them look at it to verify this problem. If the car has been spliced then it’s a deathtrap no doubt about it.
As to what to do about it, that’s hard for me to say since I’m not a lawyer and not fmailiar with your state laws on these issues. Hope that helps and good luck.

When did you buy it, and from who? A dealer or person-to-person? Did you have your mechanic look at it, or just go by a Carfax report?

Assuming that what the dealer told you is true, what are your damages?

Did the seller misrepresent the car when he sold it to you?

Have you had problems with it?

Do you know where the seller is now?

If you have documents from the seller that claim the car had never been in an accident, you may have a case that you could take to small claims court.

If you bought the car without any false claims made by the seller, you’re out of luck.

Is there evidence that the car has been repainted, or that the paint job is anything other than a factory job? I would look for evidence that the car has been repainted. You might find an inconspicous place around the rear door frame and scrape away a little paint. Do the same around the front door frame. If the colors don’t match, then you might suspect that someone made two wrecks into one car. It would be difficult, although not impossible to find two cars to splice together that are the same color. Better yet,look under the door gaskets and trunk gasket to see if you find evidence of another color.

It is possible to splice two cars together. I knew a person back in the early 1950’s whose wife wrecked their 1951 Nash by rolling it over. He welded the front half to another 1951 Nash that was wrecked in the front. Nash cars were uniframe in these days. I don’t think the result was ever very satisfactory. He never did bother to paint the car, so the front half was yellow and the rest was dark blue. In your case, I would find it difficult to believe that a first class paint job would be done to disguise a “splice together” rebuild.

This is not an unheard of practice and if done correctly doesn’t have to render the car unsafe. It would however severely reduce the value.

There are a bunch of unanswered questions. Who did you buy it from and when? Was it from a dealer, private party? A year ago, several years ago? Are they still in business? In Minnesota when you transfer a vehicle, the seller certifies on the title document that the car’s mileage is correct or incorrect, and that the car has not sustained damage in excess of 70% of its value. So check the sales document. If it wasn’t noted and a dealer, then they would likely be guilty of fraud. Your attorney general should be contacted in that case.