Consumers who go shopping for a used car could be playing a very dangerous game. Why? Unseen damage to the car's frame could end up putting occupants of that vehicle at serious risk. Scam artists end up putting millions of used-car buyers at risk by selling vehicles with damaged or rewelded frames-but not informing the buyers of the problem or the risks.
A car's frame is one of the most important safety features protecting the driver and passengers in an accident. It is made from strong metal alloy acting as the skeleton of a car. The body of the car, such as the doors, quarter panels and exterior are mounted onto the frame, along with mechanical parts such as the axles, engine and emissions system.The frame is engineered to work with the car's other safety components, such as the seat belts and airbag, to provide maximum protection for all passengers. Any weakness or flaw in the frame-even movement as little as eight millimeters-can cause the vehicle to react differently than designed in an accident, endangering anyone inside the vehicle as well as others on the road.
Most modern cars have unibody frames. While this allows for stronger and safer vehicles, it is also designed to crumple to absorb impact in the event of a collision, even a minor one. The truth is, frame damage can occur in any major or minor collisions. A collision might have damaged the windshield or rear window frames. It might also have damaged the suspension mountings or frame rails. The damage is not always obvious, but car frame damage could make your vehicle unsafe, its structure weakened or cause chronic mechanical problems. Damage to the frame changes the car's ability to hold heavy components such as the body and mechanical structures beneath the car. A bent, broken or rusted frame may not withstand a crash or driving over rough terrain.
If your vehicle sustained frame damage, you might be worried the car is totaled. That is not always the case. We have seen cases where the car appears to be running fine but it has sustained car frame damage. You wouldn’t live in a house that was structurally unsafe, so why drive in an unsound vehicle? You might be putting yourself at risk.
It may surprise you to know that any frame damage on a vehicle is irreversible! Although a damaged frame can be pulled back to its original dimensions, once the structural integrity of any frame member has been compromised the character of the metal is forever changed. This is so important to understand because it is literally the difference between life or death in many cases. To illustrate this, a vehicle's frame is often compared to an aluminum soda can. When the can is new and undamaged it is strong and hard to crush but if the can was crushed, even slightly, and then pulled back to it's original shape it has now been severely weakened and will then crush easily. The same is true with automobile frames. But that's just the beginning of the story!
All modern car frames are designed with crumple zones. Crumple zones are a design feature which allows energy to be absorbed during a crash. They are engineered weaknesses in the frame that let the designers control the way a frame collapses during impact. The idea is to have the frame and body panels fold up in a pre-determined sequence absorbing energy while the rigid passenger compartment stays intact protecting the occupants. And it really works!
Here's the bad news. Once the crumple zones have been damaged and pulled back out they no longer can be predictable as to how they will collapse during the next impact. Remember our soda can. The crumple zones will likely collapse much faster now, thereby absorbing far less energy resulting in increased injury to the occupants. This is why it can be a matter of life and death.
Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. Air bag timing is directly affected by an automobile's compromised frame integrity. If the crumple zones were damaged and then pulled back out after an accident they will likely collapse much faster next time thereby resulting in delayed air bag deployment. So it's a double hit. Not only is the impact energy not managed but the air bag timing is compromised which can put you and your loved one's lives in danger.
We at Car Law Firm, only specialize in helping consumers who have been defrauded by "dirty" dealers who are continuously scamming unsuspecting consumers by not informing them of the frame damage condition of the vehicle they are purchasing.
We take on only cases that we know we can win. We are currently helping 100s of new clients monthly with frame damage fraud cases. We do not collect any money up front from our clients and all our cases are on contingency basis. Meaning, if you don't get paid, we don't get paid! Contact us today if you feel like you have a vehicle that is frame damaged and have been defrauded. We will evaluate each case thoroughly, share our experience with cases such as yours, and help set up proper expectations.
We look forward to serving you.
The Car law Firm Team