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Purchased used car from private seller

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by Jp Hamm, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Jp Hamm

    Jp Hamm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I purchased a car from private seller that listed car as 2012 with 148k miles but said it was in good condition with a services up to date. Long story short & me being a bonehead, texted back & forth day/night before, built some trust, got sick/nauseous on ride to look at car, didn't test drive much nor see any documents, trusted what she said, agreed on price, did ppwk which her dad had & started filling out, so I handed over cash, under her mom's name which mom signed, finally was given title & registration but only glanced at them, didn't sign anything. Drove home abt 30 mi but after 25 mi, message from car stated stop car turn off engine. Called seller which denied everything, had it towed to shop. Diagnostic showed 10 codes mostly related to fuel injectors needing to be replaced for $1300, expected life 100k - 150k mi, car at 148k. Seller should be responsible but denied, then renege on 50/50 agreement. Got car back & looked at ppwk & owner's manual which all showed csr as 2011 not 2012 as stated & listed/advertised as. Tried to work on deal & not cancel transaction but she denied, declined and/or renege on everything. What are my rights? Length of ownership before major issue due to 148k mi she had car & not due to my 25 mi & 30 minutes of ownership. My bonehead move for not asking for docs but gals advertisement?
     
  2. Jp Hamm

    Jp Hamm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    *false advertisement.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Once you handed over the cash, you may have handed over any protections you had.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Creating or attempting to create a list of rights would serve no useful purpose.

    As far as the model year, that is listed on the registration and title paperwork. You should have noticed it at the time you bought the car. No claim for that.

    As for the claim that the car was "was in good condition," that's nothing but a statement of opinion and, for all you know, the seller was not aware of any problems at the time of sale.

    As for the claim that "services [were] up to date," nothing in your post indicates that wasn't true.

    Based on that, I don't see any valid claim, but you're free to give small claims court a try.
     
  5. Jp Hamm

    Jp Hamm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I've read something about expected length ownership before major issue or car stops running for certain types of car, price, condition & etc which this should fall under due to higher end, clean title & price. Is this true?
     
  6. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    It's not clear what you are talking about here. But as far as the law goes when you are buying a used car the basic rule is that the sale is "as is" unless the contract includes a warranty of some kind. This means that the buyer takes all the risk of problems with the car and if the car then happens to break down even just 1 second after the deal is complete that ends up being the buyer's problem. Never buy a used car without getting it inspected by a trusted mechanic first.

    The buyer cannot, of course, commit fraud. So if the buyer made specific factual claims about the car that were untrue that may give you a cause of action against the buyer. This means factual statements like "the tires were replaced just two months ago", "this vehicle has never been in an accident" etc. If such statements are false and the sellers knows them to be false that's fraud if you relied upon them in deciding to buy the car.

    Facts that were disclosed to you in writing prior to completing the deal will generally overcome whatever oral statements were made in the course of the negotiations. So if the correct model and year were disclosed on the paperwork you were given to review in the deal then you were on notice what you were getting, the incorrect verbal info given earlier notwithstanding. So another rule in buying a used car is always read and understand every document that is part of the sale.

    General sales puffery like "this car is in great shape" cannot be relied upon because they don't provide any factual information that you can objectively test. What is "great" for one person may not be great for another.

    Lemon laws only cover the sales of new cars and, in one or two states, certain sales of used cars by dealers. They do not help at all in the sale of a used car by a private party.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Let me make sure I understand this question.

    You read something that you didn't cite or provide a link to. You have described the subject of this thing you read in vague and somewhat unintelligible terms. And you want to tell us if what you read is true.

    I would hope it obvious that we have no way of divining whether this thing you read is true.

    Elaborating on what I wrote in my prior response, when you buy a used car from a private seller, the sale is made on an "as is" basis unless the buyer and seller agree to a warranty, which would be extremely unusual -- especially for an older or high-mileage vehicle. What that means is that it's completely up to the buyer to ascertain the condition of the vehicle before agreeing to the sale. The only real "exception" is that, if the seller makes a false representation of material fact on which the buyer reasonably relies to his detriment, that's fraud that may allow the seller to seek to rescind the sale. In my prior response, I discussed the three statements that you told us about. The first is a statement of fact, but you could not have reasonably relied on the statement. It's also arguable that being one year off with the model year is not material. The second statement was a statement of opinion, not fact, and the third statement was not apparently untrue.
     
  9. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You purchased a used car with 148k miles and failed to properly inspect it. A vehicle with that many miles needs more than a test drive.
    You will be on the hook for the repairs. As mentioned above the sale was "as is" and you became the owner of the cars problems.
    Seller is not obligated to give you a penny.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    To add to this: Had the OP done the research beforehand, then s/he would have known that the injectors would likely need replacing at, literally, any moment. The OP could have used this as a bargaining chip to reduce the cost.

    I think that the OP has just learned a "life lesson" and should treat it as such.

    HAVING SAID THAT:

    Did the seller provide a valid SMOG certificate that was issued within 90 days prior to the purchase?
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.

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