What can I do about a used car that I purchased 5 days ago?

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What can I do about a used car that I purchased 5 days ago?

I bought a used car 5 days ago. The car ran excellent until yesterday. After having a mechanic check out the vehicle, it was determined that the repair is major. I purchased the car “As Is” but the dealer gave me a 10 day coverage of the motor (the problem is not the motor). Is there anything that I can do or am I just out of luck on this?

Asked on February 16, 2011 under General Practice, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the circumstances and mileage whether you may have recourse to the "Lemon Law," which would require a dealer to make repairs (or if the fail after several--I think 4--attemps to take the car back). The Lemon Law in your state applies to cars bought from dealers with less than 18,000 miles on them, and when the problem is further reported before there are 18,000 miles on the vehicle. If this is the case, the dealer may have to repair the problem for you. Below I'll have a link to a page with more information about the Lemon Law.

If the Lemon Law should not apply, IF the dealer knew of the defect--or reasonably should have known (i.e. it'd be almost impossible that he didn't know)--and he didn't tell you, you may have grounds, based on fraud to either sue for damages (e.g.  cost to repair) or to rescind the contract, give the car back, and get your money.

 

Here is the link: http://www.carlemon.com/lemon/IN_LemonGuide.html

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Indiana's Lemon Law does not cover used vehicles. However, there are several other types of laws that can be used to help you in the event you discover that you've bought a used car lemon. First, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has what's called the Used Car Rule that requires dealers to provide consumers with a Buyer's Guide with warranty and other types of information. If the dealer has in any way failed to abide by the FTC Used Car Rule, you may have the basis for a legal claim.

Second, each state has what are called Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) laws. If the dealer has, for example, made verbal promises or didn't tell you about issues relating to your used car, you may have a cause of action. Third, your state's version of the Uniform Commercial Code may provide you with relief. Finally, the Truth in Lending Act may also help here.   Seek legal help.  Good luck.


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