Can a car dealership sell a car as certified pre-owned when it is not and then they realize the fact 3 months later, take it back in for theCPO process?

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a car dealership sell a car as certified pre-owned when it is not and then they realize the fact 3 months later, take it back in for theCPO process?

I bought a certified pre-owned car a year ago and have come to find out the car was never certified when I bought it. The company brought the car in to “check on” some things and actually performed the certification test at that time. I have spent over $2500 on services for this car in the past year and they refuse to give me any explanation or help as to why it was not certified from the beginning. Is what they did buy selling it as a CPO when it wasn’t even legal ?

Asked on January 5, 2012 under General Practice, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the car was not a certified pre-owned (CPO) when sold to you, you could likely do one of  the following: rescind the contract (give the car back and receive your money back--though after a year, this might not be an option a court would favor); receive compensation for costs you incurred which you would not have had the car been properly CPO (e.g. excessive servicing costs); or "reform" the original contract so you receive back some of the purchase price (difference between CPO and non-CPO car). The theory would be that if the dealership knew or reasonably should have known the car was not CPO but misrepresented it as CPO, that was fraud; or if they did not know, then you and they were both affected by a "mutual mistake"--the agreement of sale was incorrect, in that they were not selling, and you were not buying, what you thought you were. Either theory can provide a basis for recovery, though if you can't work out some compensation voluntarily with the dealership, you'd need to sue to try to vindicate your rights.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption