Do I have any rights if I bought a used car from a used car dealership “as is” and the transmission and engine seize within 1 week?

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Do I have any rights if I bought a used car from a used car dealership “as is” and the transmission and engine seize within 1 week?

I am a single mother that works and goes to school full-time. I bought a 2001 vehicle from a car dealership. I paid $4100 cash and signed “as is” papers and arbitration papers as well. As soon as I drove the car off the lot the check engine and transmission light came on. I contacted the owner of the company and he stated to get it checked out by his mechanics. In doing so, his mechanics couldn’t find what was wrong. I then took it to another mechanic and they stated that I need a new torque converter. The owner agreed to give me $500 towards the cost of fixing the transmission. They had to get the part ordered and I parked the vehicle until then. The part was in yesterday. As I was driving the vehicle to the mechanic the engine threw a rod. He did state on the test drive that the car had a clean CARFAX but when checking the VIN #, 30 records were found. Also, I did receive a copy of the buyers guide but only the first sheet marked “as is.” I did not receive the second portion of this document. Does that help my situation?

Asked on February 23, 2011 under General Practice, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Marking a sale "as is" does not protect someone from liability resulting from fraud. Fraud in a case like this--car sales--typically arises from a knowing (or deliberate) material (or important) misrepresentation (or lie), made in order to convince you to enter into the transaction, when it was reasonable that you rely on it. So if, for example, you were specifically told there was a clean CARFAX when obviously there was not, that may consitute a material misrepresentation and therefore fraud. If it does, it may give you the grounds to sue for monetary compensation or to rescind (revoke) the sale. You will have to sue to do this, if the dealer does not voluntarily accept full responsibility, however; if you can't afford an attorney, try contacting either legal services (which often has a unit to help consumers who've been defrauded) or your state bar association, which may have a recommendation to an attorney who will do this on a pro bono, or free, basis.


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