If I buy an used car at auction “as is” but was not allowed to drive the car and later found out it had no reverse, am I still bound?

Can I get my money back within 24 hours of the purchase due to buyer’s remorse, the lemon law, deceptive trade practices, etc? The dealer was contacted as soon as my car was delivered to me. He said sold “as is”.

Asked on July 2, 2012 under General Practice, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you knowingly bought an "as is" car without having the opportunity to drive it, you would be bound by the sale in the absence of fraud (see below): you chose to essentially waive any rights to make sure the car was working before purchasing it.

Fraud is the deliberate misrepresentation of material (or important) facts, and can sometimes take the form of a knowing omission, or failure to state something of which the seller is aware and which any reasonable buyer would expect to be disclosed. Therefore, if the person who sold the car knew of the problem (no reverse) and didn't disclose that, that could be fraud, and fraud would provide grounds to rescind the deal--give the car back, get your money back. On the other hand, if the dealer did not know, there would no fraud, since in that event, he did nothing wrong--he can't disclose what he doesn't know. In terms of whether he "knew" or not, if he reasonably must have known--there's no way he couldn't have known of the problem (e.g. he parallel parked the car--he'd have to know of the problem with reverse), that can count as "knowing."


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