Can I be held liable for an ATV that I sold that broke down the same night?

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Can I be held liable for an ATV that I sold that broke down the same night?

I sold my ATV to an indiviual after he took a test ride on it. It quit running that night. He took it to a repair shop and they told him it would take $1800 to fix it. I knew nothing about anything that was wrong. The bike had run well up until that point. He wants me to take the bike back or pay the repair bill. Only problem is I don’t have all of the money anymore. How much am I liable for? I have offered to pay half of the repair costs.

Asked on March 24, 2012 under Business Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you sold the ATV on an as-is basis (no guaranty or warranty), you would only be liable for an faults, damage, defects, etc. which you were aware of but failed to disclose. Legally, if you did not know about the problem, you should not be liable. Practically, however, if you are sued, it may be difficult to show that; given that the ATV broke down in a major fashion the same day you sold it, it would certainly be possible for a court to conclude that you must have known of the fault. Therefore, even though, based on what you write, you would not seem to be liable, you have to factor in a factual situation which could result a court concluding that you had knowledge and therefore are responsible. It is therefore impossible to say that you might not find yourself liable for either the full cost of the repair or have to return the money and take the ATV back.


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