If I purchased a used vehicle from a private owner, can I ask for a partial refund due to the seller not disclosing an accident which lessens the value of the car?

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If I purchased a used vehicle from a private owner, can I ask for a partial refund due to the seller not disclosing an accident which lessens the value of the car?

Or can I ask for a full refund and return the car? No accidents were mentioned or on Carfax. I found receipts in the car for some large item car parts – radiator pump, engine mount. The owner stated that he had a friend put in the parts (apparently) to keep things “off the record”.

Asked on January 1, 2016 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the seller fails to disclose a material (or important) fact which would affect your willingness to buy the car or to pay the price asked, such as the fact that it had been in an accident, that is fraud. Fraud can provide a basis to seek compensation--such as the difference in value between what you paid and the (presumably) lesser value of the car with an accident--or even potentially to rescind the sale (return car, get money back). So based on what you write, if the seller will not agree to compensate you or take the car back, you should have grounds to bring a lawsuit against him.


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