If I bought an advertised 4 x 4used vehicle from a dealer but the 4×4 was converted to a 2 x 4, is this false representation?

The vehicle ran well but I specifically asked about the 4 x 4. I was told it was a functioning 4 x4. On the street it is difficult to judge whether or not it’s working. Also, I am no expert. However, 1 week later radiator blew and I had it towed and worked on. The mechanic indicated that there was no 4×4. The 4×4 components had been removed. I bought it “as is”.

Asked on March 25, 2011 under General Practice, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Here is what the Florida Department of Highway Safety has to say:

"All dealers are required by Federal law to post a "buyers guide" in the window of each vehicle offered for sale. The buyers guide notifies the buyer that there is a warranty or that the vehicle is being sold "AS-IS" with no warranty of any kind.

In the case of an "AS-IS" sale, once you drive the vehicle from the dealership, it belongs to you, despite any problems the vehicle may have. If the vehicle breaks down after only a few minutes of leaving the dealership, the repairs are YOUR responsibility.

But I think that you have a different issue here, one of misrepresentation.  Every state has an Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) law. These laws can often be used even if the used car is sold "as is," as long as the dealer is guilty of a verbal deception or a failure to disclose information about the vehicle.  Here they said it was a 4x4 and it was not.  I would absolutely look in to this further and push the issue.  Good luck.

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