Can I sue a private party for failing to disclose a rebuilt title when I bought a used car?

UPDATED: Mar 21, 2012

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Can I sue a private party for failing to disclose a rebuilt title when I bought a used car?

I purchased a used car a number of years ago from a private party. The seller told us the car had been in a fender bender but there had been no damage. We took the car to a dealership to be checked out and they said everything looked good. I had no serious problems with the car but when I went to sell the car 5 years later, I took it for an appraisal and they said it had a rebuilt title. We took it to a mechanic who took the bumper off and the whole front end was wired together with chicken wire. Can I sue the seller for intentional misrepresentation?

Asked on March 21, 2012 under General Practice, North Carolina


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

At this point, let's assume there was intentional misrepresentation. When you purchased the motot vehicle from a private party, you purchased it probably as "as is" without warranty. If this is the case, you had the burden to have the car inspected by a reputable and licensed mechanic before exchanging money for the car. Now, five years later you find out information about the car. Since you purchased it "as is" you have no recourse and further the statute of limitations has run, which means even if you had a claim, the time to sue on the original transaction has ended.

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