What are my rights if I bought a car from a car dealership about a year ago but just found out that it doesn’t have a catalytic converter?

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What are my rights if I bought a car from a car dealership about a year ago but just found out that it doesn’t have a catalytic converter?

About 6 months ago I took it to the dealership to get the ECM (computer) fixed. While it was there, they told me there was no catalytic converter. Which was what caused the ECM to fail. The dealership I bought it from sold it to me modified but said nothing about it missing a catalytic converter. It would cost me 2K out of pocket to fix something that was not there upon purchase. Since I bought it so long ago, is there any legal standpoint I have against the dealership I bought it from? Or am I SOL?

Asked on August 7, 2015 under Accident Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You may be in luck. The behavior you describe is likely either a breach of contract (the agreement, whether oral or written, that you get a road-legal or -worthy car, and/or a car that works in all regards, at least as of when you drive off the lot) and/or fraud (a misrepresentation, or lie, about a material, or important fact, made to induce you to enter into the transaction). The statute of limitations for oral contractrs in your state is 3 years; for written contracts is 6 years; and for fraud 3 years. Therefore, you appear to be in time to sue the dealership  (for $2,000, probably in small claims, acting as your own attorney, or "pro se," to save on legal costs) for the cost to repair/replace the converter.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You may be in luck. The behavior you describe is likely either a breach of contract (the agreement, whether oral or written, that you get a road-legal or -worthy car, and/or a car that works in all regards, at least as of when you drive off the lot) and/or fraud (a misrepresentation, or lie, about a material, or important fact, made to induce you to enter into the transaction). The statute of limitations for oral contractrs in your state is 3 years; for written contracts is 6 years; and for fraud 3 years. Therefore, you appear to be in time to sue the dealership  (for $2,000, probably in small claims, acting as your own attorney, or "pro se," to save on legal costs) for the cost to repair/replace the converter.


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