If I bought a used car from a dealership and have paid the price of the car in repairs since, do I have a case in lemon law or fraud?

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If I bought a used car from a dealership and have paid the price of the car in repairs since, do I have a case in lemon law or fraud?

I bought in 10/09. We brought it to a mechanic before buying it and they found a few problems, which the dealer fixed. Then they found that the timing belt needed to be replaced, so I paid an additional $200. About a month after buying the car, I brought it to a dealership and it needed $3000 worth of repairs. Since then, I have paid over $5000 in repairs (basically the price of the car). I know that I bought it “as is”, but is there any law that protects me from their apparent misrepresentation of the condition of the vehicle? Would I have cause to file suit?

Asked on August 27, 2010 under General Practice, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately the lemon laws in most states generally apply to new cars and not used cars.  But from what I understand Virginia's lemon laws are some of the best in the country.  And if the lemon laws do not apply to you, Virginia has Consumer Protection laws that may indeed do so. The "as is" part is an issue, as it indicates that the sale came with no stated "warranties".  However, if the car was purchased from a dealership some states imply warranties by law and then you could indeed have more protections than the dealership would lead you to believe.  Contact your state attorney general's office for help as a start.  Their consumer fraud division will be able to steer you in the right direction.  Good luck.


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