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Ford Dealer Fined Over $160,000 for Selling Crashed Super Duty as New

The dealer didn't tell the customer, who only found out after trying to trade in the oddly problematic truck.
James Gilboy Avatar
2018 Ford Super Duty F-250 Lariat
Ford

For a lot of people, “car dealer” is practically a byword for “dirtbag,” and not without reason. One Ford dealer in Kentucky recently reminded us why, as it lost a lawsuit over selling a truck that it crashed and then fixed under the radar without telling the buyer of the vehicle’s history.

Paul Miller Ford of Lexington, Kentucky, got itself into this mess when its new-car director wrecked a new 2019 Ford F-250, totaling the vehicle they rear-ended. As Automotive News reports, the manager informed their supervisor and accounts receivable department about the crash, which the dealer paid $6,298 to repair, but didn’t brief the sales department.

2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty built for SEMA
2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty built for SEMA. Ford

Three months later, the F-250 was sold to one Barry Smith, who wasn’t told about the damage. Instead, he was reportedly told the truck’s 656 miles were accrued in use as a demo vehicle. Smith unsurprisingly had problems with the truck, which reportedly vibrated and had steering issues. He decided to get rid of it and only discovered what the dealer hadn’t told him while trading it in at another dealer. Upon learning about the incident via its CarFax report, Smith sued.

The manager is reportedly said by the court to have “consistently downplayed the damage” to the truck, and excused not disclosing the crash during the sale because “things fall through the cracks.” The salesperson reportedly testified that they didn’t know the truck had been damaged, stating that “proper procedure would have been to add a disclaimer regarding the wreck and repairs to the paperwork.”

The Kentucky Court of Appeals dismissed Smith’s accusation of fraud, but it did find the dealer liable for breach of warranty and violating a law requiring disclosure of presale damage exceeding $2,000. Smith was awarded $8,026 in compensation plus $73,001 in attorney fees. On top of those, the dealer will also pay $80,260 in punitive fines. That sounds awfully close to what the F-250 would’ve cost. Poetic justice is the best kind, no?

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