Do I have any legal options available to me regrding the purchse of a defective use car from a private seller?

I purchased a vehicle on payments from a seller. They already signed over the title with an illegal bill of sale as it was not notarized or dated. A few days ago the transmission failed causing me to wreck. I had it looked at to see what the cause was and the mechanic said the transmission had been rigged. He was surprised it hadn’t failed sooner. Also, that the odometer had been tampered with. I still owe a few hundred on the vehicle and know that the seller will harass me.

Asked on July 31, 2012 under General Practice, Tennessee


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you believe that the seller of the vehicle concealed material items with respect to the item before sale that affected price paid by you or desirability per the opinion of your mechanic, then you may have an action for fraud (concealment) against the seller for the costs of repair or diminution in value of the vehicle whichever is less.

Or, you can sue to cancel your purchase where you would be seeking the return of the amount you paid for the car in exchange for its return.

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 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.