What is a buyer’s obligation to pay for an auto part that is DOA?

I bought a custom car part. The part was dead on arrival, and also did not fit my car like it was supposed to. Seller threatened to take legal actionif I do a chargeback. I have the grounds to do the chargeback, however the seller found out about it and said if I do it they will go after me legally for “fraud”. And since I am a minor they are threatening to go after my parents. I need legal advice on this ASAP.

Asked on September 21, 2011 under General Practice, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The seller is the one who has acted improperly: either he has breached the contract/agreement between you, by not selling you what you ordered (or by selling you a broken or inoperative version of what you ordered), or he committed fraud, by misrepresenting to you what he had and what you'd be buying (or similarly, by misdescribing it). In either event, he is not entitled to keep your money without sending you the proper part. He can "cure" the problem by sending you what you ordered, but otherwise, you can get your money back.

Note, however, that the above assumes that you specified the part correctly, and the seller did not sell you what you specified; or that what he sold you did not match the discription; or he sold you what you wanted but it was broken; etc. If the seller did everything correctly and you just happened to order a part that would not work in your car, then the seller is entitled to keep your money and does not need to send you a new part.

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