What are my rights if I bought a used car from a dealership with service center that had been in a previous accident?

UPDATED: Nov 13, 2013

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What are my rights if I bought a used car from a dealership with service center that had been in a previous accident?

The Carfax reported no accidents and dealer did not inform me there had been an accident. There was a small crack in the grill. When asked they said they didn’t notice it and assured me there had not been a collison. When we got home we removed the bumper and discovered a cracked radiator support core that had been zip tied together. My mechanic’s estmate for that repair and a bad cv boot is $1500. I feel I was not fully disclosed on the condition of the vehicle by the dealership and is a safety issue. No warranty on vehicle, we called the dealership and they offered to pay half without any proof from us but requires us to sign a waiver for future action. Do we have a claim here?

Asked on November 13, 2013 under General Practice, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

IF the dealership knew or reasonably should have known (that is, there was no reasonable way they would not have known) of the prior accident or damage and did not dislose that to you, they may well have committed fraud; if so, they could be lialbe for the full cost to repair. If they did know and there is no reason they should have known, they would not be liable or responsible, since in the absence of knoweldge, they did nothing wrong. If they are willing to pay half without proof, there is a good chance they knew and so should pay the full amount; however, if they refuse to, you need to decide whether you are willing to sue them and try to prove that they would have known of the damage (which would require expert testimony from your mechanic, for which you'd most likely have to pay him), or would rather take what they offer and avoid litigation.

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