Fora used car purchase, does the buyerhave a legal right to make the seller pay to fixundisclosed damages?

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Fora used car purchase, does the buyerhave a legal right to make the seller pay to fixundisclosed damages?

I bought a used car 2 months ago out-of-state. I have today discovered serious damages, including the lights, bumper, grill and mounting pieces. It appears to have rear-ended another car and been repaired very poorly. I was given a carfax with no collisions showing. I’m looking at more than $1000 in repairs.

Asked on February 19, 2011 under General Practice, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

For used cars, the main issue affecting whether the buyer can receive compensation (such as cost to repair) is usually whether fraud was committed. Fraud is the knowing misrepresentation (or lying) of material (or important) facts, made with the intention that the other party rely on the misrepresentation to its detriment. Also, under some cases a knowing and deliberate omission, or a failure to disclose without an actual lie, will also constitute fraud. In a situation like you describe, if the dealer knew, or had reasonable grounds to know, of the collision and withheld the information (or handed you a fraudulent carfax), you'd likely have good grounds to seek compensation. On the other hand, if the dealer did not know (e.g. they relied on the same car fax), then they would not liable. It depends on the facts.


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