What to do if I bought a used car and its condition was misrepresented to me?

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What to do if I bought a used car and its condition was misrepresented to me?

I bought a used car posted on craigslist that was advertised “runs and drives excellent” and I was verbally assured (3 times) that the car was mechanically OK. It ran a little rough at idle fo I figured it probably needed a tune up. This car has 66,000 actual miles. Again, I was assured that it needed nothing. While cleaning out the glovebox I found a reciept dated 2 months ago from a repair shop that the seller had taken the car to. It stated that the car needed a new engine-low compression on number 4 cylinder, probably bad piston rings. Therefore he knew there was a problem with the engine, however, he advertised it as a “cream puff-runs excellent”. So what do I do now?

Asked on April 17, 2012 under General Practice, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney--you likely have a legal cause of action. If a seller knowingly misrepresents (lies) about a material (important) fact to get you to buy something, that is fraud. Fraud could entititle you to rescind the transaction (for example, return the car and get your  money back). It could also entitle you to sue for monetary damages or compensation, such as the cost to repair or correct the condition, or the difference in value between the car as claimed and the car as it is. I believe that under Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, you could even recover attorney's fees, so it's definitely worth consulting with a lawyer.


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