Filing a Complaint - Auto Industry Division

Types of Complaints Investigated by the Auto Industry Division

Before Filing A Complaint:

Contact the dealership, through the general manager or owner, explaining the problem. If the dealership does not satisfactorily resolve the problem, file a written complaint with the Auto Industry Division. All complaints should be accompanied by copies of any and all documents pertaining to the complaint.

Examples of a Complaint:
An inquiry into a complaint is limited to alleged violations of the motor vehicle law.

Examples of law violations could be:

  • Failing to deliver title within 30 days of the sale.
  • Failing to meet all terms and conditions contained in the written contract.
  • Tampering with an odometer or giving a false odometer statement.
  • Willfully misrepresenting or failing to disclose any information required by law.
  • Intentionally publishing or circulating any advertising that is misleading or inaccurate.
  • Selling vehicles that do not meet the safety and emission equipment requirements.
  • Failing to give notice of approval or rejection on a finance deal to the customer within a reasonable time.
  • Selling a salvage vehicle without proper disclosure.
  • Selling a vehicle that is known to be stolen.
  • Not maintaining a place of business and minimum operating hours.
  • Selling a vehicle to a resident of the AIR Program area without an emissions sticker.
  • Unlicensed Dealers and/or Salespeople - "Curbstoners"

Types of Complaints Investigated by Other Agencies

  • Motor Vehicle Warranties: If any repair work was not part of a vehicle sales contract, it is outside the jurisdiction of the Auto Industry Division. The local District Attorney does have jurisdiction over illegal actions by an automotive repair facility. A complaint concerning repair work may be filed with the District Attorney's office.
  • Lemon Law: The Lemon Law applies only to new vehicles under one year old. It does not apply to used vehicles purchased by consumers who encounter repair problems. The procedures for filing a complaint under the Lemon Law are found in the vehicle owner's manual. Please see the Auto Industry Division publication on Colorado's Lemon Law  for additional information.

There are certain circumstances that are not violations of the motor vehicle dealer law:

  • The consumer does not have 72 hours to change his or her mind on a car deal. When the contract is signed, the vehicle is bought and sold as of the contract date.
  • The dealer does not have to repair the vehicle after the sale when the vehicle is sold without a warranty and "as is", unless it is a safety item.
  • The Auto Industry Division cannot require a dealer to honor a verbal agreement. The consumer is provided a "State Disclosure Form" indicating that any verbal agreements are not enforceable.
  • The Auto Industry Division cannot dictate good business practices or ethical behavior. Complaints concerning these issues cannot be investigated.

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