What can I do if I bought a vehicle from a used car dealership but 9 days later it had an entire electrical failure?

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What can I do if I bought a vehicle from a used car dealership but 9 days later it had an entire electrical failure?

All of the lights, inside and out, power locks and windows were all out of service. He didn’t disclose any issues of that sort. He told me that it had one issue with a ball bearing and that was it. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on June 24, 2014 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Generally, lemon laws cover new veihicles but in Texas some used vehicles are covered. Texas DMV writes:

"Your used vehicle may be covered under current state laws. Texas laws related to warranty performance may cover your vehicle if your used vehicle is still covered by the manufacturer's original warranty (not an extended service contract), or if the problem started and was reported to the dealer while under warranty and it continues to exist, repair assistance of the warranty-related problem may be available to you."

Texas' new car Lemon Law also applies to demonstrators that are covered for two years from the original owner's delivery date of the vehicle or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first — providing the vehicle is still under the original manufacturer's warranty.

Look to other laws that can help. First, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has what's called the Used Car Rule that requires dealers to provide consumers with a Buyer's Guide with warranty and other types of information. If the dealer has in any way failed to abide by the FTC Used Car Rule, you may have the basis for a legal claim.

Also, each state has what are called Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) laws. If the dealer has, for example, made verbal promises or didn't tell you about issues relating to your used car, you may have a cause of action. And Texas's version of the Uniform Commercial Code may provide you with relief. Finally, the Truth in Lending Act and the Federal Odometer Act might also be valuable.  Good luck.


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