Legal Question in Consumer Law in California

I bought a used car from a dealership 6 months ago. The dealership did not give me any information regarding registration or smog or title. I received the temporary registration application from dealer(after many attempts to get a hold of him to find out what I need to do) stating I needed to get the car smogged. So I go to a local smog check and the car fails due to the Cadillac converter being tampered with(serial #’s were removed) so I contact dealership and they tell me that I needed to go to a specific smog check referred by them. So I go to the referred smog place and the guy says it’s going to cost me $600 to pass since I took it to a place already and it failed. At this point I’m confused and very frustrated, I pay the $600 and got the smog check passed. It was a very shady experience and I know this dealer and smog are committing fraud. So I take the passed smog check to the dmv and they tell me I cannot register car because the title is missing and has not been given by the dealership when submitting paperwork. I contact the dealership again and they tell me I was supposed to go to a local insurance company to get registration taken care of and not the dmv because they did the registration and fees have been paid, etc. so I contact the insurance company and fax over the smog paperwork and they tell me it will be taken care of. After 2 weeks of silence and nothing from the dmv in the mail I contact the insurance company once again and they tell me that they do not have the title to car and have been in contact with previous owner to try and obtain the title. So I was sold a car that didn’t and couldn’t pass smog, had to pay $600 for a fraudulent smog pass, and no title either. This is a nightmare and I feel I have been intentionally ripped off. What are my options legally? I apologize if I put wrong category(consumer law?) Thank you for your time.

Asked on 6/22/21, 1:24 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

You should have called the cops as soon as you found out it had a stolen catalytic converter in it. You should also demand the dealership buy the car back and if they refuse, file a complaint with the DMV.

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Answered on 6/24/21, 4:50 pm

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