Does fraud and misrepresentation apply to used auto sales?

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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. 


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