What to do if just purchased a used car and it needs a new engine?

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What to do if just purchased a used car and it needs a new engine?

I live in Michigan and just purchased a used car which seemed to be in great shape on the test drive. The dealor assured me that it was. On the way home from purchasing it I noticed black smoke coming from the exaust. I have had several places inform me that there is some ‘blow by” and oil is leaking into exaust. The only fix is a new engine. I informed the used car dealor of this and he will not return my calls. Do I have any recourse?

Asked on September 7, 2012 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If it's a used car, your state's Lemon Law most likely does not apply--for it apply, the defect must be reported to the manufacturer within one year of the first customer getting the car or during the period of the warranty, whichever is longer. If you think that the car may be new enough for the Lemon Law to apply, I've included a link to a webpage from your state government with more information at the bottom of this answer.

If the Lemon Law does not apply, however, you may still have recourse if the dealer committed fraud. Fraud is the knowing or deliberate misrepresentation of a material (or important) fact, made to get someone to enter into a transaction. Basically, if the dealer either knew or reasonably must have known (any reasonable dealer in this postion would have known) of the engine problem and yet concealed that information from you, the dealer may have committed fraud. If the dealer did commit fraud, that can provide grounds to either rescind the transaction (give back car, get back money) or seek monetary compensation (e.g the cost of new engine).

Here's the link to information about your state's Lemon Law: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1585_1611-23885--,00.html


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