What can I do after I bought my vehicle if I found out that it was a total loss vehicle and built from salvaged parts?

I’ve had my vehicle for 5 years. I asked for a carfax report when I bought it but the seller said it would be best to have my mechanic take a look at it. After 1.5 years it started really giving me

problems. It was in/out of the dealership for issues; sometimes I’d get it back and a day later it was back in. Certain things they fixed, others I still had to pay for, and some things they couldn’t figure out. I tried to trade it in a year or so ago and that’s when I found out that it had

been in an accident. Going through a trade-in process now to be told it was considered a total loss in 8 years earlier and built from salvage parts. I had no idea about this or even the

accident. What is your suggestion on the action I should take? Friends say that it was illegal for them not to disclose that to me before purchase and if it’s under investigation, can I still trade it in?

Asked on June 1, 2016 under Accident Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if you have had your car for 5 years, it is too late to take legal action. The "statute of limitations," or SOL, is how long you have to bring a legal action: all legal actions (e.g. lawsuits) must be started before the SOL expires. The SOL starts running in a case like this when you buy the car. The two SOLs whch might apply are for fraud (them lying to you) and for breach of contract (not getting a car in the condition you agreed to buy). However, in your state, the maximum SOL for both causes of action is only 3 years, so once 3 years passed from when you bought the car, you could no longer sue. At 5 years, it is too late to do anything.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.