If I bought car which has never really operated, do I still have to make payments on a dead car?

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2011

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If I bought car which has never really operated, do I still have to make payments on a dead car?

I bought a used car 4 months ago which is being financed for 15 more months. The car has had multiple problems in which the dealer attempted to work on car 2 times and told me the car’s problem. The dealer even allowed another car shop owner to diagnosis the car and we had the car fixed according to what that shop owner said. However, the car is still dead. They did pay that bill. I was inquiring to know what our rights is since this was an “as is” sale which we are still financing. We have only driven about 30 miles on this car. And I need to mention within that within 2 weeks the dealer had to put brakes, rotors, and other things on this vehicle. I am paying on something we can’t use.

Asked on December 30, 2011 under General Practice, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Becauase it was an "as is" sale, the key issue will be whether the dealer knew, or reasonably should have known, about the problems when the car was sold to you. Dealers have a duty to disclose known problems with vehicles; if the dealer knew of the issues but represented the car as being in good mechanical shape, then that misrepresentation may be fraud. If it was fraud, that could provide grounds to possibly rescind the contract (give the car back, get your money back), and/or seek monetary damages--possibly even enhanced monetary damages, if the dealer's conduct was so reprehensible as to violate consumer fraud laws. (Many or most states have such laws.)

Thus, the critical issue is whether the dealer knowingly hid the car's condition from you. If the dealer did not, then having bought it "as is," you would likely not have recourse.

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