Do I have any legal grounds if I purchased a used vehicle with no warranty and within the first week had to have repairs made?

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Do I have any legal grounds if I purchased a used vehicle with no warranty and within the first week had to have repairs made?

Do I have any legal grounds if I purchased a used vehicle with no warranty and within the first week had to replace the battery alternator and wire harness? which was very dangerous and luckily I caught it before it resulted in an electrical fire I also can hear there now is something else wrong with it and I have only had it 3 weeks I informed him of the first things within the first week of purchase and at that time the dealer said they would cover it. Now they are giving me a run around? Are they obligated to pay?

Asked on January 3, 2012 under General Practice, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Used vehicles are usually not covered by the Lemon Law of your state, though you should check to see whether it is the case--sometimes, if the mileage is low enough, it may be covered.

Apart from that, without a warranty, your ability to seek compensation would depend on whether the dealer knew of the problems at the time it sold the car to you. If the dealer knew of--or reasonably must have known of; i.e. there's no reasonable way they could not have known--significant mechanical or electrical problems but did not disclose them, that could constitute fraud and/or an unconscionable commercial practice and could result in them being liable. If they did not know, however, they would not be liable.

Of couse, if they may be liable but won't voluntarily pay, you'd have to sue them to try to recover the money; you need to factor the cost and time of a lawsuit into deciding whether it would make sense to take action.


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