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Car Dealers in New Mexico MUST Tell You the Truth!

Posted by David Humphreys | Feb 03, 2021 | 0 Comments

But, you have to ask the right questions

It is against the law in New Mexico to make a “willful” misrepresentation about the age or condition of a motor vehicle by anyone associated with a car dealer in connection with the sale of the vehicle. This means the dealer cannot lie to you about important information.  They must tell you the truth the vehicle's condition. This includes repair work to the frame or chassis of the vehicle. It also illegal to make a false statement that the dealer knows to be untrue if what is said would be important to the average person buying a vehicle.

Other examples include the vehicle's collision history, the existence of un-repaired damage, any significant mechanical issues known to the dealer or if the odometer is not accurate. There are several exceptions to this requirement, one being if the information withheld or misrepresented relates to minor damage that was repaired and that was so small that it was not required to be disclosed under New Mexico law. If you have questions you can contact us for a no obligation consultation. 

How Can I Use This To Help Me Buy a Vehicle?

This means you should ask plenty of questions. Be specific and clear. Do not take “not that I know” or “none that I am aware of” as answers. Tell the salesperson to go ask the manager because you won't buy the vehicle if the dealership is not willing to tell you what they know.

Things to Know Before You Head to the Car Lot

Car dealers are sophisticated in the way of sales. You may not be. Do not be intimidated. Remember that you are the one with the power. Your power comes from being the buyer. You get to pick what you buy and where you buy. The dealer is the one stuck with a large inventory that they have to sell. You can say NO and just go to the next dealership. Watch what they do to try to keep you there. You do not have to be rude, but you do not have to be naïve, nor should you ever feel bad about being firm. Buying a car is a business deal. Think about how they treat you on the trade in and act the same way at the dealership. You can be a kind person but retain your guard when dealing with a system that is set up to take advantage of you. Do not “fall in love” with the vehicle before you drive it off the lot. There are lots all over the state filled with the same vehicles. Do not be afraid to exercise your power as buyer.

What Should I Say? 

Questions you should ask include:

Has the vehicle ever been wrecked?

(do not rely only on CarFax or any other commercial record keeper; they can be and are tricked by cheating car dealers)

Are there any mechanical problems with the vehicle?
Did the dealership have any work done on the vehicle or know of any work?
Did you inspect the vehicle?
Can I see the record of your dealer inspection?

All used vehicles are required to be inspected under New Mexico law. AND the dealer is REQUIRED to share the inspection results with you. You are entitled to an affidavit from the dealer showing you the inspection results.

What to Do If You Think the Car Dealer Lied? 

If you bought a vehicle that stops working, or if you think the dealer may have lied, or if you suspect your vehicle may have been wrecked, we ask you to contact our firm for a no cost consultation about your rights.

About the Author

David Humphreys

David Humphreys has been practicing law since 1987. He was a member of the first class (1994) of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, Dubois, Wyoming. He was recognized in 2004 by the college, along with his partner, Luke Wallace, as the Warriors of the Year for the 18-state South Central regi...


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