automobile deceitMany people think of "Lemon Law" when they hear this. In South Carolina, the Lemon Law [South Carolina Code of Laws§56-28-10] only applies to new vehicles and only to certain types of defects or problems. If you are having trouble with a new car, take it to the dealership for repairs immediately. Make sure all of the complaints you have with the car are documented. What you can recover under the Lemon Law depends in part on when you first reported the defect in question to the dealership.

For the purchase of a used car, commonly the consumer learns later that his or her car had been wrecked when the dealership represented the car had not been wrecked. Some of these problems can be avoided at the point of sale. Require the dealership to produce a "CarFax" report. Although not guaranteed to discover every problem, these reports provide useful information about your vehicle’s history. If the dealership refuses to provide one or tells you it can’t get one, buy another car from another dealership. Also, ask the dealership to put in writing that the car has not been in a wreck. Be cautious of dealerships that refuse to put anything in writing.

Other consumers will have problems with the manner in which the sale transaction was written up. Some consumers will discover after the fact that what they are obligated to on paper is not what the friendly salesperson told them the deal would be when shaking hands on the showroom floor. South Carolina does have some statutes which help consumers for deceptive or unfair sales practices in this situation. For example, South CarolinaCode of Laws§56-15-40(3)(d) makes it unlawful for an automobile dealer to "resort to or use any false or misleading advertisement in connection with its business."

If you believe the terms of the purchase were misrepresented to you, you likely should consult with an attorney.