Can I file a lawsuit against Carvana?
Carvana is one of the biggest online retailers of cars. But they’ve also racked up a number of complaints about their business practices and the cars they sell on the Better Business Bureau website—and in most states, consumers are protected by lemon laws from car dealers that break the rules. Even aside from lemon laws, most states also have warranty laws and consumer protection laws that can help you if a car dealer sold you a lemon.
Carvana currently has an arbitration agreement which might mean you have to go to arbitration, not to court. You can opt out by sending them a letter under the current version as of late 2021—but they have to “receive” it within 30 days, so if you’re still in the 30-day period you’d want to send it quickly and by certified mail. Read the arbitration agreement closely because that governs the details.
If you didn’t opt out, that’s ok—our attorneys are experienced in handling arbitrations, which are like a miniature version of a lawsuit. We may be able to help you with any problems you’re having with Carvana, and if you ended up with a lemon, call us at 657-845-3100, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We don’t charge to evaluate cases, and you may have a legal claim.
What kinds of complaints are consumers making about Carvana?
You may have experienced one of the problems below, which are in complaints made to the BBB about Carvana. These are just examples—you may have run into something else. But in general, when a company acts unfairly or treats you badly, you have rights under the law.
1) Failing to inspect the car or failing to disclose hidden damage. Some customers have complained that the car they bought from Carvana wasn’t inspected and had various undisclosed issues. One reported to the BBB that “I purchased a 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA 50 from this online dealership. My car has had nothing but issues and I haven’t even had the car for two months…. They’re 150 point inspection does not exist if it did, this car would not have had so many issues.”
Numerous consumers complain about the same thing—that minor damage was disclosed on the Carvana website, but when they actually got the car, they were suddenly having serious mechanical problems that the company should have known about if they’d actually done the inspection they claimed to.
2) Not getting a title or registration promptly. Some customers have complained online that they aren’t getting their registrations or titles, and that they keep getting a series of temporary tags. Most states have laws requiring a dealer to give you the title within a certain period of time—some, like California, even impose heavy penalties if they don’t. Georgia, for another example, will let you sue and get your attorneys fees in addition to any damages. Not having a title is a big deal—it could mean there’s a lien on the car or another ownership issue. One person complained on the BBB website that Carvana still hadn’t completed the registration for almost a year—and that they’d been pulled over three times because of it.
We’ve represented clients who bought a car from another online car dealership, weren’t getting their title, and then found out in the end that the online dealership didn’t have the title and couldn’t get it. That’s a textbook unfair business practice, and if Carvana sold you a car but is stalling on handing over the title, we may be able to help.
3) Advertising a feature the car didn’t actually have. Some Carvana customers have reported that the company advertises features that the cars don’t actually have. For example, one complained to the BBB that “The car was advertised as having autopilot and Full Self Driving Capabilities (FSD). After getting the car I contacted Tesla to get subscription services and was told that the car does NOT have FSD. I’ve contacted Carvana multiple times and am told; Tesla turns off all the features if they find out the car was sold; and ‘my bad’ but am offered no solutions. Tesla will install the FSD for an additional $10K + tax.”
4) Selling you a different car from the one you bought. One consumer reported “Purchased a car in 2020, car was not the original car I had picked out as they claimed that one had been sold.” If you buy a car, you should get that car, not a completely different one. If something like that happens to you, it’s a classic deceptive trade practice.
5) Delivery delays. Some consumers report that they start paying the monthly payment for their car—and then suddenly get told by Carvana that the car will be weeks late and they’re paying for a car they don’t even have.
6) Delayed loan pay-offs on trade-in. Some consumers have reported that their loan on a trade-in wasn’t paid off promptly—meaning they still had to make payments on it even though Carvana had the car.
If you’re having a problem with Carvana and they’re giving you the run around, call Kneupper & Covey PC at 657-845-3100, or e-mail us at email@example.com. We can take a look at your claim for no charge and see if we’ll be able to help.