Can I sue a used car lot dealership for a car that is a piece of junk?

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Can I sue a used car lot dealership for a car that is a piece of junk?

My issue is that I bought a used vehicle from a car lot “as is”. The day after we bought the car, I had to have the catalytic converter replaced, as well as a new transmission pan put on. We then found out that the valve stem gasket covers were cracked and needed replaced. Within a month of buying the car, the head gaskets have blown and need replacement. The car we purchased is just sitting there now. Do I have any kind of legal case or is it my problem because the car was sold “as is”?

Asked on April 10, 2012 under General Practice, North Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Here is the issue. You may have more rights with an "as is" purchase from a dealership than you would if this were a private party sale. Dealerships have to maintain cars for a minimum safety level of street safety. If this all occurred within days of your purchase and depending on how the motor vehicle was advertised, you may wish to simply go through the process of filing a consumer complaint with the entity who regulates or has jurisidction over this company to process unfair and deceptive practices act complaints. Try the office of the Attorney General in your state or the Department of Motor Vehicles or both. If these routes do not result in getting your money back, you wish to try small claims court (if the monetary amount to refund is less than the statutory cap) or district/superior court if the cap is not enough to cover your damages.


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