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Navigating Transparency: A Guide on Filing a DOT Complaint Against a Wisconsin Automobile Dealership

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Jan 19, 2024

Purchasing a vehicle is a significant investment, and consumers rightfully expect fair treatment and transparency from automobile dealerships. If you believe you have encountered issues with a Wisconsin dealership that warrant intervention, filing a complaint with the Department of Transportation (DOT) can be a constructive step towards resolution. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process of filing a DOT complaint against a Wisconsin automobile dealership.

  1. Understand Your Rights as a Consumer:

    • Familiarize yourself with the Wisconsin law and your rights as a consumer. The law provides protections for buyers of vehicles that turn out to be defective, and it can be a powerful tool if you find yourself facing persistent issues with your purchase.
  2. Gather Documentation:

    • Before filing a complaint, gather all relevant documentation, including your sales contract, warranty information, repair records, and any communication with the dealership. Having a thorough record will strengthen your case and provide a clear picture of the issues you've encountered.
  3. Attempt Resolution with the Dealership:

    • In many cases, problems can be resolved through communication. Before filing a formal complaint, make a reasonable attempt to resolve the issues directly with the dealership. Clearly outline your concerns and desired resolution in writing, keeping a copy for your records.
  4. Visit the DOT Website:

  5. Complete the Complaint Form:

    • Fill out the DOT complaint form accurately and thoroughly. Provide all requested information, including details about the dealership, the vehicle in question, and the nature of the problems you've experienced. Attach copies of relevant documents to support your case.
  6. Submit the Complaint:

    • Follow the submission instructions on the DOT website to ensure your complaint reaches the appropriate department. Be sure to include all necessary documentation and contact information. Keep a copy of your submitted complaint for your records.
  7. DOT Investigation:

    • Once your complaint is submitted, the DOT will typically review the information provided and may initiate an investigation. During this process, the DOT may contact you for additional details or clarification.
  8. Resolution and Follow-Up:

    • The DOT's investigation may lead to various outcomes, including mediation, fines, or other actions against the dealership. If a resolution is achieved, ensure that the dealership complies with any agreed-upon terms. If not, you may explore additional legal options, such as pursuing the matter in court.


Filing a DOT complaint against a Wisconsin automobile dealership is a structured process designed to protect consumers and promote fair business practices. By following these steps and providing detailed information, you increase the likelihood of a successful resolution to your concerns. Remember, your rights as a consumer are important, and the DOT is there to help ensure that you are treated fairly in your vehicle purchase experience.

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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