If I recently sold a vehicle “as-is” and the buyer has a problem with the car, amI liable?

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If I recently sold a vehicle “as-is” and the buyer has a problem with the car, amI liable?

I sold a car via the internet. I have a very thorough bill of sale which states that, “Seller has no knowledge of any unforeseen or hidden defects and believes the vehicle sold is in good operating condition; said vehicle is otherwise sold in as-is condition”. It’s signed by both parties, a witness, and it’s notarized. Can I be held responsible for any problems with the vehicle?

Asked on January 16, 2011 under General Practice, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could be held responsible if there is evidence of fraud--that is, evidence that you deliberately and knowing concealed a defect. For example, say that the problem is one that you could not help be aware  of--a transmission that won't shift, for example, or a starter motor that won't turn over. In that case, the buyer could probably show that you had to have been aware of the problem and thus committed fraud, including via your documents professing that there were no problems. However, in the absence of sufficient evidence to show some deliberate misrepresentation or concealment, if a buyer takes a car "as is," he would be assuming the risk.


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