The Consumer Protection Act assumes that dealers and salespeople have more resources, knowledge and experience than the consumer does in determining the facts about a vehicle. Dealers and salespeople have an obligation to disclose all “material facts” about the vehicle, even if the customer does not ask.
A material fact is information that might affect the customer’s decision to purchase or lease the vehicle if he or she knew about it.
What is considered “material” may differ among customers. For example, a minor “fender bender” may not matter to a customer who pays $1,000 for a 15-year-old vehicle, but it will likely be important to a customer who pays $50,000 for a brand new vehicle. One way to determine what “material” is to a particular customer is to listen to the questions that he or she asks about the vehicle.