It Can’t Need All Those Repairs It’s a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle!

You are on the verge of making a big decision; signing on for several years of payments for that used car. Hey, as long as you’re spending this much money wouldn’t it be wise to spend just a bit more and get a “Certified Vehicle?”

The implication is that certified vehicles are the cream of the crop, fully inspected, and extra reliable, but are they? Certified is not a legal phrase it is a marketing technique. Some certified programs might actually require the dealer to have a mechanic do a 100 point inspection, others may require little or nothing. Certified vehicles are sold as being extra reliable and fully inspected and; therefore, the buyer is charged more money for them.

A client of this firm bought a vehicle that was said to have undergone a 108-point inspection by a certified factory mechanic. The advertisement said the consumer could “buy with confidence.” After receiving these assurances the buyer signed a “no warranty” sales agreement thinking that while there was no warranty the vehicle had been thoroughly inspected and was good to go. Literally, on the way home from the dealership the car began experiencing mechanical issues that turned out to require significant sums of money to repair.

A shady dealer can simply stick a certified sticker on a car and charge more for it. Before paying inflated prices to ask what “Certified” means on that lot. Can you see the inspection sheet? Can you talk to the mechanic or person who certified the car? If you are not satisfied with the answers, find another dealer who provides better information.

If a vehicle is sold as having been inspected and certified, but later you find out none of this is true and there are actually known problems with the car you may have been deceived or cheated. You have a claim under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The Law Office of Julie Johnson is dedicated to the protection of consumer rights. This blog is not intended to be specific legal advice; rather each situation must be reviewed to determine the rights and duties that may be presented by each unique set of circumstances. If you believe you have been victimized through questionable dealer practices please feel free to contact us at

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