What are my rights if I bought a car off of a second party and was not told the car had recalls that were not resolved?

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What are my rights if I bought a car off of a second party and was not told the car had recalls that were not resolved?

I bought a car off of a second party. The car had recalls that were not resolved and I was not told about them. The seller told me about other unrelated problems and I agreed to the sale. I test drove the car and everything seemed fine. I drove the car for a few weeks and one evening, while coming to stop at a traffic light something broke and the car would not drive I had the car towed to a garage, found the A-arm tore from the frame. I contacted the manufacturer and it recalled the car which had to be towed to be fixed. Previous owner knew about recall but did nothing to resolve it. I want my towing covered. Can I sue?

Asked on October 5, 2011 under General Practice, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, you may have grounds to sue and either receive compensation (e.g. costs to make repairs, tow the car, etc.) or get the seller to take the car back and return or refund your money. That's because if the seller knew  of the recall--which is a significant matter, and one which, if disclosed, would have affected the transaction (e.g. you would not have bought the car; or would have negotiated a lower price)--but did not disclose it, he may have committed fraud. Fraud makes a contract voidable (able to rescind or invalidate it) and/or provides a basis for receiving monetary compensation. For a few hundred dollars, you might consider suing in small claims court where you can represent yourself (no lawyer) and minimize your legal costs and fees.


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