Is the dealer responsible to pay the difference on the repair because he sold me a car with a bad engine?

Dealer refuses to pay difference and claims he is not responsible. He guaranteed me passing inspection on a “We Owe You” document. I bought a used car with warranty, 8 days after i bought it, it broke down and i later found out the engine was bad. The warrant only covers $1250 of it but the repair costs $3000.

Asked on July 23, 2012 under General Practice, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally, if there is a warranty, the terms of the warranty will delineate the seller's liability--i.e. if the car is warrantied for $1,250, that's what the seller would owe. That said, however:

1) If there was a guaranty the car would pass inspection and it would not have passed when you bought it, the seller may have to make it inspection worthy.

2) If the seller knew or reasonably should have known of the engine problem when he sold it (i.e. any reasonable seller in that position would have known) but failed to disclose it, that may constitute fraud, and could provide you grounds to either seek monetary compensation (e.g. cost to repair) or to rescind the sale (return car, get money back).

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