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Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Inspection Laws


State lawmakers, in an effort to help prevent used car buyers from being taken advantage of by dealerships, require used car dealers to abide by certain rules and regulations. Used car dealers, for instance, must have their vehicles inspected prior to sale. If a vehicle is unable to pass the state inspection, the dealer must then disclose that fact to potential buyers. While dealerships that fail to abide by these rules can be held liable by wronged customers, holding large companies accountable for their negligent and wrongful acts can be difficult, so if you purchased a vehicle and later discovered that it did not pass its state inspection, it is important to contact an experienced used car fraud lawyer who can help you file your claim.

Safety Inspection Laws

In Pennsylvania, dealerships are required to disclose certain information to their customers, including when a vehicle has:

  • A bent, cracked, or twisted frame;
  • A cracked engine head or engine block;
  • A damaged, deteriorated, or defective transmission;
  • Flood damage; or
  • A defective, deteriorated, or damaged differential.

In fact, a used car dealer can be held liable not only for failing to disclose when he or she knows that a vehicle is suffering from one of these types of defects, but also when that individual should have known about those defects. This means that dealerships cannot avoid liability by refraining from testing or inspecting a vehicle, but can actually be held responsible for their negligence in failing to do so properly.

What is Required to Pass a State Vehicle Inspection?

In addition to disclosing when a vehicle has differential, transmission, or engine block damage, dealerships in Pennsylvania must also notify potential buyers when one of their vehicles was unable to pass its state inspection. These inspections involve testing all parts of the vehicle that are related to its safety, including the testing of its:

  • Brakes, which must operate properly on all four wheels;
  • Multi-beam headlights, which must be equipped with the proper bulbs that operate at the right voltage;
  • Airbags, which must deploy properly upon impact;
  • Tires that have the appropriate tread depth;
  • Mirrors that allow motorists to see at least 200 feet away;
  • Rear window and windshield, which cannot impair a driver’s vision;
  • Electrical system; and
  • Fuel system.

A proper inspection, in addition to the testing of all of these components, also involves ensuring that a vehicle’s warning devices, exhaust system, odometer, steering system, chassis, and speedometer all work properly. Regrettably, some dealerships evade these guidelines by failing to inspect their vehicles, or by purposely concealing safety issues that they do discover, which can put anyone who buys those vehicles in danger. Fortunately, those who buy a used car and later discover that they were misled as to its safety features can hold the dealership liable for any losses that they sustained as a result.

Call an Experienced Philadelphia Used Car Fraud Attorney for Help

To speak with an experienced Philadelphia used car fraud lawyer about your own auto fraud case, please contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com today. We can also be reached at 215-790-1800 or via online message.




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