What to do if I bought a used car that won’t pass emissions testing?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2011

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What to do if I bought a used car that won’t pass emissions testing?

The seller gave me the emissions paper from a year ago. I lost the paper so I went to go get it tested again and it failed. Do I have any legal right to reverse the sale? I don’t have the money to get it repaired.

Asked on September 17, 2011 under General Practice, Colorado


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, normally when one purchases a used vehicle, the vehicle is considered "as is" and therefore comes with no warranties. More likely than not, the dealer will no longer have a copy of the emissions paperwork and a year has passed so you really won't be able to prove to a court of law should you choose to sue that it is the fault of the dealer or fraudulent actions from the dealer. Your best bet now is to figure out if you can sell the vehicle for salvage and parts (which often can be in the aggregate more than the total worth of the motor vehicle) and then use that money to buy a working vehicle with proper inspections and under warranty.

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