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Feeling Sold Out? How to File a Complaint Against a Wisconsin Dealership

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | May 27, 2024

Have you had a frustrating experience with a car dealership in Wisconsin? Maybe they sold you a lemon, misled you about the vehicle's condition, or failed to honor warranty repairs. Don't stay silent! The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) offers a process for filing a complaint against dealerships. Here's what you need to know:

When to File a Complaint

WisDOT can help mediate issues related to:

  • Titling problems
  • Warranty repairs
  • Undisclosed vehicle defects
  • Potential odometer tampering
  • Unlicensed dealerships

Before You File

It's always a good idea to try and resolve the issue with the dealership directly. Speak to a manager and explain your concerns. Keep a record of your communication, including dates, times, and who you spoke with. If you're unsuccessful, then you can proceed with filing a complaint.

How to File a Complaint

The quickest and easiest way to file a complaint is online through the WisDOT website [Wisconsin DMV Official Government Site - File a complaint against a dealer]. Here, you'll find a user-friendly form that walks you through the process.

What Information Do You Need?

Be prepared to provide details like:

  • Your contact information
  • Information about the vehicle (year, make, model, VIN)
  • Details about your purchase agreement
  • A clear explanation of your complaint

Supporting Documentation

The more evidence you have, the stronger your case. Consider attaching copies of:

  • Purchase contract
  • Window sticker (Wisconsin Buyer's Guide)
  • Title application
  • Repair invoices (if applicable)

The WisDOT Investigation

Once you submit your complaint, WisDOT will assign an investigator to your case. They will reach out to you within a week and may contact the dealership as well. The investigator will gather information and try to reach a resolution.

Alternative Resources

While WisDOT handles dealership licensing and titling issues, other departments might be better suited for specific concerns:

  • Non-warranty repairs: Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) at (800) 422-7128
  • Recalls and safety defects: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at (888) DASH-2-DOT (


  • Filing a complaint is free.
  • The sooner you file, the better chance of a successful resolution.
  • WisDOT cannot help with private seller transactions or pre-existing vehicle problems.

By following these steps and utilizing the resources available, you can hold dealerships accountable for unfair practices and protect yourself as a consumer.

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


The DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC is committed to answering your questions about Vehicle Repo's, Credit Report/Identity Theft, Auto Fraud, and Debt Collection Abuse law issues in Wisconsin.

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