Can you sue a person in small claims court for selling you a bad car?

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Can you sue a person in small claims court for selling you a bad car?

They said that nothing was wrong with the car. I checked for all the signs of a “bad” car and there wasn’t any. The car had a bad transmission. Probably would have still bought the car for a cheaper price if they would have been honest about the problem.

Asked on June 22, 2015 under Business Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, as your question implies, whether they were "honest about the problem." If they knew there was a significant problem--or if reasonably, they *must* have known; that is, anyone owning/driving the car would have known--and lied about it, they committed fraud; and if they committed fraud, they could be liable, and you could potentially recover monetary compensation or rescind (undo) the sale (you give the car back; they return your money). But if they didn't know about the problem, and reasonably may not have known, they would not be liable. It is their knowledge at the time of the transaction that is the key determinant of whether they would be liable and you could recover money in a lawsuit.


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