Does the private owner have any responsibility for a used car they sell, which breaks down after it’s sold?

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Does the private owner have any responsibility for a used car they sell, which breaks down after it’s sold?

I sold my car. The woman who bought it contacted me 5 days later and said it broke down 4 miles from my home, where it was sold. Does she have to prove what actually broke down and that it was already like that? And, do I have any legal responsibility to help pay for what she claims broke, or return the money?Also, she threatened that she parked the car somewhere that it could get parking tickets and/or towed, and that since it’s still registered in my name I would have to pay for them. Am I protected in any way from not having responsibility of car costs, even though it is still in my name?

Asked on May 5, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, you are not responsible for the car if sold "as is."  But you may in fact have a problem if the buyer does indeed park it and walk away.  Go to DMV and see about filing some thing that proves the sale and transfer of ownership.  Different states have different forms.  You should know, though, that if you in any way defruded the buyer by misrepresenting the condition of the car that could come back to haunt you.


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