Does fraud and misrepresentation apply to used auto sales?

UPDATED: Jan 14, 2011

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Does fraud and misrepresentation apply to used auto sales?

I recently bought a 1996 car with 77,000 miles; it had a plow on it. It was bought from a used car dealership for $4200. I looked under the hood, everything looked and sounded OK. The salesman told me it was ready for work; he had plowed with it and it was in good condition. The advertisement on-line specifically stated “ready for work”. I took the truck to my mechanic and found out that it is not road-worthy. I also found out that the guy bought the truck for scrap and paid $556. I want to return the truck and get my money back. Do I have a case?

Asked on January 14, 2011 under General Practice, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes, I believe that you may have a case.  Although New Jersey does have a lemon law for used cars,it is very specific as to whom it applies.  For example, it applies to cars used for personal use.  You did not, I assume, buy the truck for personal use.  BUt you did buy it from a dealer and there are certain requirements because of same.  There are also other acts like the Warranty of Merchantability and the Truth in Lending Act  that may help you here.  Fraud and misrepresentation - as you indicate in your heading - will also come in to play.  Contact your State Attorney General's Office for starters here.  And then consult with an attorney.  Good luck. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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