Does a dealer have an obligation to repair a problem, if it was not disclosed?

I bought a used truck recently. Then 2 days later I took the truck to my mechanic and he found coolant leaking from from then engine from leaky gaskets. On the window disclosure paperwork, the box that says “known or visible leaks, excluding minor seepage” is checked “no”. My mechanic’s view is that this was obvious since it was actually dripping on his floor.

Asked on January 11, 2013 under General Practice, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if there was a problem known to the seller, which the seller did not disclose, the seller would typically be liable for that problem. Practically, if the dealer will not pay for the repairs, the problem  would be proving knowledge--you'd have to prove in court that a reasonable dealer in that position would have had to know of the problem. Depending on the cost to repair, it may or not be worthwhile bringing a legal action, especially since you'd need your mechanic there to testify, and would presumably have to pay him for his time.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country the seller of an item is required to disclose all matters affecting desirabilty or price paid for the item to all potential buyers known to the seller. The key is proving that the seller knew about the problems with your vehicle purchased and that your were not advised of such before the sale.

From what you have written about what your own mechanic has stated, I would insist that the seller pay for the repairs of your vehicle at his or her own cost.

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