Are used car transactions covered under the Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices?

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Are used car transactions covered under the Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices?

I purchased a vehicle “as is” about 2 weeks ago from a dealership; 3 days later it didn’t work. The engine light and VSC lights were on when purchased, however, I was assured the car was in good working condition and that these light were on because the battery had been dead. I was told to bring my car back in a week for repairs but it was already not working. I contacted the dealership and was advised to tow the car in at my expense and they would take care of it. Now im being told sorry, we won’t fix it.

Asked on September 25, 2011 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Used car transactions can be covered under the Unfair and Deceptive Practices act, while more often than not, they are not covered under state lemon laws. Used cars are usually purchased "as is" as you mentioned but while "as is" means you risk the merchantability of the motor vehicle, if the used vehicle was purchased from a dealership, there are often some limited state law warranties that come with the sale because it was purchased at a dealership. As future reference, puffing is not considered a material term to a contract (like "good working condition"). You need to review your purchase and sale agreement and see if anything that stopped working is specifically mentioned as being inspected and working properly. Now, you may need to involve your state attorney general and the Department of Motor Vehicles, if it has a component that handles that such shady deals from used car dealerships. Enough complaints could land the business in hot water and even to having its dealer license revoked.


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