Can I return a used car with problems and get my money refunded?

I just purchased a used 2006 VW car from a dealer 3 days ago; it has $35000 miles. I went to inspect the underside of the car and saw alot of oil on the engine and transmission. I was told by the dealer to bring it to a VW dealer to fix but I can’t get in for 4 days. I’m concerned about the longevity of this car since I only have $15000 miles left under the VW warranty (that is if it is something which is covered by VW). I paid with a check which has not cleared yet. I would like to return the car but understand legally I signed the contract. I would not have purchased knowing an oil leak exist.

Asked on July 26, 2010 under General Practice, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Cars are not necessarily perfect--especially used cars. An oil leak would not rise to the level of implicating any lemon law or similar law--not unless it truly is intractable or unfixable, in which case it might. If the dealer  did not make some misrepresentation to you--e.g. state there was no leak, when he *knew* there was one--and also did not make some other guarantee or warranty (e.g. "I guarantee the car is perfect!"), it is not likely that you can return it.

Your best bet for relief would be if the car turned out to substantially or seriously flawed in some way--and that  the dealer either knew or reasonably should have known of that. If so, you may have grounds to sue for damages or possibly rescind the contract. Without that, though, you probably don't.

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