Can you sue a person in small claims court for selling you a bad car?

UPDATED: Jun 22, 2015

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Can you sue a person in small claims court for selling you a bad car?

They said that nothing was wrong with the car. I checked for all the signs of a “bad” car and there wasn’t any. The car had a bad transmission. Probably would have still bought the car for a cheaper price if they would have been honest about the problem.

Asked on June 22, 2015 under Business Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, as your question implies, whether they were "honest about the problem." If they knew there was a significant problem--or if reasonably, they *must* have known; that is, anyone owning/driving the car would have known--and lied about it, they committed fraud; and if they committed fraud, they could be liable, and you could potentially recover monetary compensation or rescind (undo) the sale (you give the car back; they return your money). But if they didn't know about the problem, and reasonably may not have known, they would not be liable. It is their knowledge at the time of the transaction that is the key determinant of whether they would be liable and you could recover money in a lawsuit.

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.

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