Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–505. Disclosure of damages or defects in used motor vehicles; violations; penalties.

(a) No motor vehicle dealer may offer for sale any used motor vehicle without first providing:

(1) Written notice to the prospective consumer of any material mechanical defect in the motor vehicle and any damage sustained by the motor vehicle due to fire, water, collision, or other causes for which the cost of repairs exceeded $1,000, when the defect or damage was known to the dealer; and

(2) Written notice to the prospective consumer whether the dealer has conducted any inspection of the motor vehicle to determine known defects or damage.

(b) A motor vehicle dealer who fails to provide the notices required by this section or who provides false or misleading notices shall, upon conviction, be subject to the following penalties:

(1) A fine of not less than $300 or more than $1,000 for a first offense; and

(2) A fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000, or suspension or revocation of the license issued pursuant to § 300 of the Vehicles and Traffic Regulations (18 DCMR 300.1 et seq.), or both, for a second or subsequent offense.

(c) The purchaser of a used motor vehicle shall have a right of action against a used motor vehicle dealer for damages or injuries sustained as a result of the dealer’s failure to comply with the requirements of this section. The purchaser, in order to seek the remedies provided by this section, shall first submit a claim to the Board. If the Board rejects the case for arbitration, or if the claim is arbitrated and the purchaser rejects the arbitration decision, the purchaser may then bring an action in court to seek the remedies provided by this section.

(d) Violations of this section shall be prosecuted in the name of the District of Columbia by the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia.

(e) Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this chapter, or the rules or regulations issued under the authority of this chapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(Mar. 14, 1985, D.C. Law 5-162, § 6, 32 DCR 160; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 402, 32 DCR 4450.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-1305.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-501 and § 50-503.