If I bought car under false pretenses, can I return it?

UPDATED: Nov 28, 2011

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If I bought car under false pretenses, can I return it?

Dealer said car was front wheel drive. He gave me a car history report stating the same. But when I got home I found out that it was rear wheel drive.

Asked on November 28, 2011 under General Practice, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You may indeed be able to rescind the transaction, returning the car and getting your money back. A transaction may be rescinded on account of fraud, or the misrepresentation of a material (important) fact. From what you write, the dealer may in fact gave misrepresented an important fact--whether the car was front-wheel drive or not. Note: technically, the dealer would have had to knowingly lie for it to be fraud--i.e. he would have had to know it was really rear-wheel drive. In that case, though, you have a different ground to rescind--mutual mistake. You both thought that he was selling and you were buying something other than what you bought. When an agreement or transaction is based on a mutual mistake, so that the parties did not do what they thought  they were doing, that can provide grounds to rescind.

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