Does state law override an “as is” designation regarding a car purchase?

UPDATED: Sep 4, 2012

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Does state law override an “as is” designation regarding a car purchase?

I bought a used car from a dealership. The state Buyer’s Guide window sticker that came with the car cited no problems. The night I brought it home, it was leaking oil and coolant. After a diagnostic was done, it was determined that the head gaskets need replacing, a very expensive repair. The back of the Buyer’s Guide states that the dealership is responsible, under the “obligation to remedy undisclosed problems” paragraph. This problem existed before the vehicle was purchased and the vehicle was not driven after the problem was discovered. However, the vehicle was purchased “as-is”. Does the aforementioned paragraph on the back of the buyer’s guide override the “as-is” sipulation?

Asked on September 4, 2012 under General Practice, Wisconsin


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Common law in all states overrides an "as is" designation reagrding a car purchase as follows. A seller of a car is required to disclose all material items pertaining to the car to a potential buyer pertaining to desirability or price paid before the sale. In your matter, if the seller knew that there were problems with your car before sale and did not disclose such to you, then there was "concealment" which is a form of fraud.

You have the burden of proving "concealment" and this knowledge beforehand. Your damages would be the costs of repair of the car.

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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