If I bought a used car 4 days ago and it already broke down, is there anything that I can do?

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If I bought a used car 4 days ago and it already broke down, is there anything that I can do?

I didn’t get cancellation clause in the contract.

Asked on April 2, 2014 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since this is a used car, the state's lemon law does not apply. That said, if the seller knew or reasonably should have known (that is, any reasonable seller in the same position would have known) of the problem but withheld that knowledge from you, he may have committed fraud. If so, you may be able to seek compensation or to rescind the contract--but you'd have to do so by filing a lawsuit, if the seller will not voluntarily take the car back (and return your money) or pay you compensation.

If the seller did not know of the problem and reasonably would not be expected to know, however, he did nothing wrong and would not be liable; fraud depends on knowledge. And, of course, if the problem arose in the 4 days after the sale, he'd not be liable, either.

First thing to do is try to get the car fixed: if it can't be fixed, or the fix is expensive, or even after repairs, problems persist, then you can explore whether it's worth trying to take legal action for fraud, if you think the seller knew about the issues.


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