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Used Van Purchase & Recourse

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by blandinisr, Jan 10, 2004.

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  1. blandinisr

    blandinisr Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We purchased a 2002 Nissan Quest Van from a Kia Dealer in El Monte, CA on 9/1/2003. It came with a 1 month dealer warratny besides the balance of the Manufacturer's Warranty which is 60000 miles. It has 9000 certified miles on it.
    We were informed at the time of purchase that the Kia Dealer obtained it from a Rental Car company.
    Well in November, the paint started to crack & peel significantly. Taking it to a Nissan Dealer directly, we were informed that the paint on the fender was not original Nissan factory paint as the Nissan dealer sent out a chip sample to determine it.
    Now both fron fenders are peeling and body shops are informing us that the entire front end must have been repaired and repainted and requires to be conpletely stripped and repainted. The result of a very poor body shop repair job.
    The cost of repair is going to be somewhere between $2300 to $2800 to repair correctly.
    The Kia dealer where we purchased it disavows any knowledge as to it having been in an accident and having been repaired.
    In addition, the Kia dealer is unwilling to offer any help in repairing this vehicle. The Kia dealer informs me that all the Law requires of him is that he has a statement from a Frame shop that states that vehicle's frame is straight and that is all he is responsible for.
    I am know considering my next steps:
    a) do I sue the Kia Dealer in small claims court - do I have a legal stance?
    b) should we find out where they bought the vehicle from & sue either the Rental Car company or do I sue the Auction dealer where they purchased it from.?
    c) my thoughts are that the auction dealer is only an agent of the Rental car company so it wouldn't make sense going after the Auction dealer but the Rental Car company.
    d) Should I sue both the Rental Car company & the Kia Dealer?

    Any comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated
    Sincerely,
    BLandiniSr@aol.com
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Small claims court is a great remedy. However, the first thing you have to do is look at your contract and see what is written. If there are statements 'as-is' and the like, it may be challenging for you to overcome them. However, it may not be insurmountable.

    I do not think you have any case against any company other than the Kia Dealership since you bought the car from them. It would seem to me that their being a dealer would require that they have greater knowledge than an ordinary seller of what they are selling. Notwithstanding their lack of knowledge about the accident, if they represented to you that the vehicle, as is, would be covered under insurance and then you find out that it is not because what they sold you was not what you both thought it was (original paint), then it might be the dealership that is responsible for this mistake and misrepresentation.

    Without the contract itself it is difficult to say who is right and who is wrong. Small claims is a great place for remedy when there is a wrong that needs to be addressed.
     
  3. blandinisr

    blandinisr Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the reply - The actual contact was not "as is" as they provided a one month warranty but it stated is was for only engine & drive train. It didn't say full coverage or bumper to bumper. I have talked with a lawyer and he indicates that in small claims court we have to convince the judge that the dealer misrepresented the condition of the vehicle since both the owner & our sales person assured me that the 2002 vehicle which only had 9,000 miles on it had not been in accident, but of course that was all verbal and undocumented.
    Sincerely, BLandini
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    The lawyer makes the right point -- it will be a matter of credibility once you get to court.
     

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