If we sold a used car and now it is having problems, what is our liability?

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If we sold a used car and now it is having problems, what is our liability?

My husband and I sold a pickup to a lady and now she is driving us crazy. The ABS is having problems and 1 tire is bald. I don’t understand how this is our fault. But my husband is being a nice guy and seeing is how we own an automotive shop, he offered to help her out. He said that he would fix it at no charge except parts. She dropped it off on a Friday and we told her that  it would be done at the end of the week. However, she showed up on Monday and threw a fit about all these things and how we are going to have to take it back to her 5 hours away. I want to make sure this isn’t our fault. What are our rights?

Asked on May 2, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

California's lemon law seems to apply only to new vehicles, so unless you gave the buyer some sort of express (or explicit) warranty or guaranty, you should have no obligations to her except as per the below:

Fraud is illegal in a sale, and provides a basis for rescinding the sale and/or seeking damages (compensation). If you knowingly made misrepresentations (for example, you said the ABS was in good shape, knowing it wasn't) or intentionally omitted to say something that you should have (e.g. the buyer said, "and the brakes are good, right?" and knowing of an ABS problem, nonetheless stayed silent), then you may have committed fraud and be liable. It comes down to what you said and what you knew.


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