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Certified Pre-owned Vehicles: A Potential Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

July 12, 2022

Certified pre-owned vehicles (CPOs) are often marketed as the “safe” choice when buying a used car. Who would say no to a vehicle that has all the benefits of a new car at the price of a used car? CPOs typically come with several guarantees. One, the car has not been previously wrecked, or the damage was minor. Two, the car has been inspected and repaired as needed. Three, you are protected from out-of-pocket expenses for repairs after the sale because they are covered by a warranty. With these promises, CPOs seem like a safe and responsible choice, right?  Unfortunately, these guarantees are not always reality. CPOs have quickly become a way for shady car dealers to make extra money at the expense of their customer’s well-being.

One of the firm’s most recent cases, Boehmke v. Stuart Nissan, is a perfect example of how a CPO can turn a customer’s dream car into a total nightmare. 

Here is the basic timeline of the case...

  • Mr. and Mrs. Boehmke were searching for the perfect SUV family vehicle.

  • They found a Certified Pre-Owned 2017 Nissan Armada available at Stuart Nissan.

  • Stuart Nissan told the Boehmkes that the Armada was accident-free, passed a rigorous inspection, and was under an extended manufacturer warranty.

  • The couple purchased the Armada because of the assurances Stuart Nissan made.

  • A year later warning lights on the dash came on prompting the couple to take the vehicle to a Kansas City Nissan dealership for repair. 

  • The Kansas City dealership told the Boehmkes that the vehicle was previously wrecked with serious structural damage and it was not safe to drive. 

In the litigation that followed (insert cite to Pacer Boehmke) our law firm has discovered some additional shocking details...

  • Stuart Nissan bought the Armada at a car auction which announced the car was being sold with structural damage history and substandard repairs on the car’s auction condition report. 

  • Stuart Nissan allegedly performed its own “rigorous” 167-point inspection where such structural defects should have been obvious. 

  • Stuart Nissan repaired certain exterior defects on the car that were red flags of previous damage and repair.

  • Stuart Nissan did not provide the auction condition report to its very own service department that was charged with performing the CPO inspection on the vehicle.

  • Stuart Nissan concealed the auction structural damage condition report from all customers interested in the vehicle, including the Boehmkes.

  • Stuart Nissan instructed their employees and customers to check the Carfax Vehicle History Report.  

  • Stuart Nissan had knowledge that the CarFax Vehicle History Report for this vehicle did not include the structural or wreck damage history reported by the auction. 

The lawsuit alleges Stuart Nissan knew or should have known the car was wrecked and unsafe to drive but sold it to the Boehmkes regardless. This case is set for trial in December 2022.

Unfortunately, this story is not uncommon. So, the next time you go car shopping be careful of the potential dangers of a certified pre-owned vehicle.

If something similar has happened to you, please contact our law firm with offices in Oklahoma and New Mexico.