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When dealers sell "hidden" used cars and demo models

When people purchase a new vehicle from a dealership or manufacturer, they expect it to be reliable and in great condition. Almost all dealers use some vehicles to demonstrate features, use as a sample or otherwise promote their business. However, these cars can also come with additional problems due to extensive wear and less careful management of the vehicles. If you have discovered that you have an undisclosed demo car or executive vehicle, it may be important to learn more about your rights under California law.

Dealers and manufacturers use several different names to describe these types of vehicles, including demonstrator or demo models, executive cars, brass hats or program cars. Some of these cars are even more likely to suffer damage and develop serious problems, such as loaner vehicles, rental cars, fleet vehicles and off-lease vehicles. The dealership or manufacturer is required to inform buyers that they are in fact purchasing a used car; they are not allowed to advertise or describe the vehicle as new. When dealers fail to inform consumers about a vehicle's prior usage, this is a form of dealer fraud and a deceptive business practice.

Buyers must sign a state Certificate of Used Vehicle when purchasing a demo model, former program car or executive vehicle. In addition, licensing fees paid when registering the vehicle must not be passed on to the buyer. Dealers also need to inform the buyer about how much of the factory warranty remains.

Our experienced attorneys have worked with many consumers who were shocked to learn that they actually drove away with a demo model or executive vehicle. People who are concerned that they have purchased an undisclosed program car have the right to take action under the law, and they can learn more at our page covering this issue.

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