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I bought a car with accident damage

Q. I purchased a used car from a used car dealer and had it examined by a new car dealer, who informed me that it had been in a serious accident and had unrepaired frame damage. Can I return the car?

A. Illinois law requires the dealer to disclose significant accident damage. If the car had a minor fender-bender and the damage was properly and completely repaired, it is probably not significant. On the other hand, damage would be significant if the car has a welded or bent frame or chassis, or there is structural damage to a unibody vehicle, or the engine or power train was damaged.

The disclosure has to be of damage to the specific car purchased. Some dealers have consumers sign documents stating that any car may have been in an accident or damaged. This is not sufficient.

So you probably have the right to return the car. If the seller refuses, we can help enforce your rights.

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