What isa dealer’s responsibility for pre-existing problems with a used car?

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What isa dealer’s responsibility for pre-existing problems with a used car?

I recently purchased a used car, and have already spent $450 on diagnosis and repairs for problems that the dealer never told me about or lied (ie. he said “AC is great.” when it started getting hot and I tried to use AC it was not cold at all) The ignition on the car is clearly bad, the dealer has admitted as much, but he refuses to pay to replace it. He has offered to give me a replacement, the history of which I do not know. What is my possible recourse, since I continue to find new problems with the car?

Asked on May 11, 2011 under General Practice, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Virginia's new car Lemon Law covers demonstrators and used vehicles that are still covered under the original manufacturer's warranty. It does not cover other 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, Virginia's version of the Uniform Commercial Code may provide you with relief.  I would look in to these laws and see what you can do.  Good luck to you.


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