When you buy a used car, you usually buy into the advertised "as is," but what if it isn't? What if you purchased a defective car that leads to traffic hazard that could ruin lives just because someone's bad sales practice? Here's what you should know if you purchased a bad used car and whether you can sue someone for selling you a bad used car.
What Should You Do First?
Take a step back before asking yourself, "Can you sue someone for selling you a bad used car?" Your first step should be to see if the seller is willing to take the car back and give you a refund. You have every right to ask. And if the seller says "no," the fact that you attempted to settle things out of court will benefit you in your subsequent court case.
Private Car Sellers vs. Car Dealerships
Can you sue someone for selling you a bad used car? No, if the seller was a private individual. Yes, if the selling party is a used dealership under lemon laws.
Private car sellers
People often buy cars from private sellers instead of dealerships because the private seller can sell the car at a cheaper price. But buying from a private seller, on the other hand, comes with risks. Most of the time, sellers will sell their cars "as is," which means "in the condition they are in at the time of sale."
This implies that there is very little legal recourse available, regardless of practically anything the seller does or says. This is true even if a used car was advertised as "excellent" but turned out to be a lemon. There are a few exceptions to the as-is clause if the seller provided a warranty with your purchase.
If you purchase a vehicle from a private seller, you have little legal protection. In most states, there is no requirement for private sellers to disclose any information regarding the history or condition of the vehicle they are selling. As a consequence of this, it is imperative to carry out all the necessary research before making any purchases.
Even though it is not required for private sellers to provide a warranty on their vehicles, this does not mean that they cannot sell the vehicle with a warranty attached to it if they choose to do so. If you buy a car from a private seller who does not provide a warranty, you will be responsible for the repairs if something goes wrong with the vehicle.
Bear in mind that even if you discover that the vehicle has significant flaws, you still might not be able to get your money back from the seller. Because of the high likelihood that there will be no room for negotiation or return in the case of a private sale, it is essential to ensure that you are content with the purchase before putting your name on the dotted line.
If you are driving around thinking your car dealer sold you a bad used car, you may have a case against your dealership. Many people think that a used "lemon" is a bad car they have to keep, but that is not the case. Most states have good laws that protect customers and make it possible to return a car that isn't working properly.
If a used car dealership sells a customer a "lemon," they must take the vehicle back. The laws protecting consumers are crystal clear on the subject of dealer and manufacturer responsibility for "lemons," requiring a full refund and the termination of the contract in such cases.
You can sue a dealership for selling you a bad car if they didn't tell you about any problems they knew it had. For instance, before selling a car that the dealer knows was in an accident, they must disclose that fact to the buyer. This same rule applies to frame damage, odometer rollbacks, and almost anything that the dealer would advertise about the car.
We often get calls from people who just bought a used car from a dealer they trusted, only to have it break down a few weeks or months later. Most of the time, the only way to get the dealer to fix the car or let you return it for a full refund is to have an auto fraud lawyer sue the dealership.
Inspect the vehicle thoroughly before purchasing it
The buyer should always conduct a quality check before making a purchase. You are protected from fraud, shady dealers, and terrible deals by the United States' lemon laws, but you'll still have to put in a lot of extra effort.
Before you hand over any cash, make sure you've checked the car's condition and title. In the United States, if the seller doesn't have the title in their hands, you shouldn't buy the car. Doing so would be an invitation to disaster.
A vehicle's condition cannot be determined by a simple visual inspection. You should take it for a test drive and have a mechanic look it over before buying. A trustworthy dealer or private seller won't mind if you bring in a mechanic to take a look at the vehicle.
What to do if you've been sold a bad used car
If you have determined that your vehicle is defective, you should contact a lawyer about filing a claim for a refund and cancellation of the contract. This is what you need to do.
- Take your vehicle to a repair shop for proper diagnose
- Have all your problems written down
- Keep the documents safe.
- File your claim
A claim must be filed formally by an attorney with all of the relevant paperwork from previous repairs. For a claim to be valid, it must be shown that the customer had at least three separate service attempts during the warranty period, all of which were for the same issue, and that the problem was never resolved.
Can you sue someone for selling you a bad used car? If you were sold a lemon without being given all the facts, you may sue the dealership. Make sure you have all the documents you need to start the process. Even if the manufacturer disputes your claims, a competent attorney should help you prevail.
Contact the Browning Law Firm immediately to begin defending your rights and to ensure that all relevant evidence regarding damages is given to the court.