Sales Puffery vs. Material Representation – Georgia Car Law Authority

The difference between sales puffery and material representation could be the difference that determines whether you get sued or not for something said during the sales process. It really is a case-by-case issue, but there is a big difference between sales puffery and a material representation. Watch this video so you are aware of the difference.

 

Below is a transcript of the video:

Back when we were talking about as-is vehicles, you may have heard me mention something called sales puffery or puffing. I want to explain that a little bit more so that dealers are aware of the difference between a material representation and sales puffery. This is one of those things that’s really on a case-by-case basis of whether something is sales puffery or if it’s a material representation. Material representation is a representation that the customer can actually rely on in purchasing the car. They can later come back and say, “Hey, I relied on that dealer statement. It turned out to be false and that’s fraud or that’s a violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.”

Puffery is not found to be a reliable statement. “This is a good car,” that has been considered to be puffery in the past in certain cases, or “this car is pretty” or “it’s beautiful”, or about a Corvette: “It’s a piece of American history.” That is sales puffery. That is the language that salespeople use to sell a vehicle.

That’s not a reliable statement or something that is a material representation of that particular vehicle that could be relied on by the customer to later come back against the dealer and say, “I bought the car because of the statement made by the dealer.” This is something that, again, is on a case-by-case basis but it’s important to know that there is a difference between a material representation and sales puffery.

Sales puffery is not reliable by the customer. The customer can’t rely on it and say that that induced them to buy the vehicle and that that was a material misrepresentation that is actionable. That the customer could sue for something like fraud. A material representation the customer can rely on and if it’s false, can turn back around against the dealer potentially. Now, again, depends on as-is language, merger clauses, and a whole bunch of other things.

It really is a case-by-case issue, but there is a big difference between sales puffery and a material representation.

 

 

For more videos on the Georgia Car Law Authority series, please visit www.georgiacarlaw.com.

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