Dealer still hasn't sent in title application on car I bought last month

December 5, 2013 19:43 by Consumer Ed

Dear Consumer Ed:

I recently bought a used car from a dealership.  It has now been four weeks since the purchase and I still have not received my registration.  Now, my temporary dealer plate is set to expire in the a few days and I don't have my permanent license plate.  What can I do?

Consumer Ed Says:

There are a number of reasons why you might not yet have received these documents.  First, when a dealer transfers a vehicle to the buyer, the dealer has 30 days from the date of purchase in which to apply for a new title in the buyer's name.  Based on the fact that you bought the vehicle about 28 days ago, the dealer is just reaching the end of this time period.  If the dealer hasn't submitted the application yet, this would explain why you can't get your new tag.  Another possibility is that the dealer applied for the new title in your name, but the application was rejected because it was not properly submitted.  When this happens, the dealership submitting the application is given 60 days from the initial rejection date to resubmit its application.  Also, keep in mind that if you financed the vehicle, the new title will be issued in your name, but sent to the finance company to hold until you've paid for the vehicle in full.

Failure to submit the application and supporting documents within the initial 30-day time period will result in a $10.00 fee assessed against the dealer. Additionally, if the dealership willfully fails to obtain a title for you, it may be subject to having its dealer license suspended or revoked. Assuming that the dealer is in the process of applying for your title, you should immediately apply for an extension to the initial registration period. Under Georgia law, you are entitled to a one-time, 30-day extension if you meet the following requirements:

1. Owner purchased the vehicle from a new or used motor vehicle dealer;

2. The new or used motor vehicle dealer has issued the buyer a temporary dealer license plate with an expiration date 30 days after the date of purchase;

3. A new title has not been issued in the name of the purchaser 25 days after the date of purchase; and

4. The dealer temporary license plate has not expired.

Since you appear to meet all of these requirements, you should be eligible.  You'll need to print and fill out an extension application, (by going to the Motor Vehicle Division section of the Georgia Department of Revenue's website at motor.etax.dor.ga.gov), then bring the application, along with your original bill of sale from the car dealer and the temporary license plate, to your county tag agent.  The county tag agent will then issue you a temporary 30-day operating permit free of charge.

If you've contacted the dealership, haven't received a straight answer about your title application's progress, and have reason to believe that the dealer has willfully failed to apply for your title, you should seek advice from an attorney.  You can also file a complaint with the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection at www.consumer.georgia.gov (or by calling 404-651-8600), and the Georgia Secretary of State at http://sos.georgia.gov/plb/usedcar/complaint.htm. 

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Selling a Lemon Law buyback car

November 12, 2013 12:23 by Consumer Ed

Dear Consumer Ed:

I purchased a Lemon Law buyback car three years ago. I am now preparing to sell the vehicle and want to know if there is anything I need to disclose to the purchaser. 

Consumer Ed Says:

yes. After a manufacturer buys back a defective vehicle, it can scrap the vehicle or correct the defect. If the defect is corrected, the car can be sold or leased to a subsequent consumer, as it was in your case. In that event, the manufacturer must ensure that a disclosure form, the Reacquired Vehicle Notice, describing the defect is signed by the first person who purchases or leases the vehicle. The manufacturer is required to provide the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection with a copy of that signed disclosure document. The disclosure form should then be included with all documentation when that vehicle is sold in the future.

While only the manufacturer is required to provide a signed copy of the disclosure to the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, the disclosure form should be provided in each subsequent transfer, sale or lease of the vehicle. This means that you should provide that Reacquired Vehicle Notice form to the buyer. If you no longer have the form, then please contact the manufacturer to request a copy. 

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Can a car with 1,100 miles on it be sold as "new"?

August 29, 2013 18:50 by Consumer Ed

Dear Consumer Ed:

I just bought a new car only to discover after I left the dealership that it had 1,100 miles on it. Does this constitute a used car in the state of Georgia?

Consumer Ed Says:

The number of miles the car has been driven isn't the determining factor of whether the car is legally "used" or "new".   In Georgia, a "new passenger car" is one which has never been sold at retail to the general public, meaning the car title has not been transferred.

In contrast, a "used passenger car" is one that has been sold at retail to the general public or one whose title has previously been transferred. Therefore, a dealer that has used the car as a demonstrator car can sell the vehicle as "new" even when it has been driven hundreds of miles.

So, the short answer to your question is: yes, a car that has been driven 1,100 miles may indeed still be considered a "new" car.

However, while a dealer can represent that cars which have been driven as employee demos are "new," the dealer cannot misrepresent the actual condition of the vehicle. For instance, a dealer can't represent a car as a "demonstrator" car unless it has in fact been used exclusively for demonstration purposes by dealership personnel. Dealers therefore cannot sell a used car as a "new" or "demonstrator" car.

Dealers must disclose the number of miles the car has been driven. A dealer must also inform potential buyers if any damage has occurred to a new car that the dealer knows about, and which costs more than 5 percent of the manufacturer's suggested retail price to repair. 

When you purchase a new vehicle that has been driven substantially before it's sold at retail, you have increased bargaining power. So, when you are shopping for a new car, you should pay special attention to the odometer disclosure. Note the number of miles already on the car, to help you determine whether you're willing to pay the purchase price, before you sign the final purchase documents.

You may also want to ask the dealer to provide an extended warranty as a concession, since the manufacturer's warranty isn't extended when the vehicle has been driven by the dealer before retail sale. You should also ask how the car was used (i.e., whether the car was driven as a demo by a salesperson or family member of the dealer, or whether it was driven by many different people) to help you decide if you're willing to buy the car, and for what price. 

 

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