What rights do consumers have regarding repairs on used vehicles?

UPDATED: Sep 28, 2010

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What rights do consumers have regarding repairs on used vehicles?

A month ago I purchased a used car (manual transmission) from a dealership for $4200, plus taxes and plates. It had 82,220 miles on it. Within days I started noticing problems with the car – temperature gauge fluctuating and an annoying creaking noise coming from the left rear of the car. I contacted the dealership about a week and a half later to have them look at it. On the way there the clutch slipping so I added it to the list of things to check out. They had the car for 2 days and out of the 3 things on the list they fixed 1 of them – the temperature gauge. The creak was still there and they completely told me I was out of my mind that the clutch was slipping. However, the slipping got worse over the next day so I brought it back and test drove it with the service manager. He agreed that it was going and agreed about the noise. Regarding the clutch he told me there was nothing that could be donebecause it was a wearable part and not covered under the warranty. Over this past weekend they had my car in the shop and fixed the creaking noise but the clutch has totally gone on it. Does this situation fall under any NYS lemon laws? Can I file a NYS Attorney General consumer complaint form?

Asked on September 28, 2010 under General Practice, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are at this point file the paperwork for the arbitration listed on the NYS Attorney General website.  I say this only because the warrant for used cars with that mileage in New York State is 30 days or 1,000 miles.  So I do not want you to be cut off if in fact you are able to get relief here.

Now, in New York State there is a used car Lemon Law and your car seems to qualify from what you have written here.  In New York State the dealership must give you a written warranty as to covered parts.  I have to tell you here that there is a list of covered part that must be on that warranty but I am "mechanically challenged" as to what the clutch would be classified as (sorry).  So here is the list:

Engine:lubricated parts, water pump, fuel pump, manifolds, engine block, cylinder head, rotary engine housings and flywheel.
Transmission:the transmission case, internal parts, and the torque converter.
Drive Axle:the front and rear axle housings and internal parts, axle shafts, propeller shafts and universal joints.
Brakes:master cylinder, vacuum assist booster wheel cylinders, hydraulic lines and fittings and disc brake calipers.
Steering:the steering gear housing and all internal parts, power steering pump, valve body, piston and rack
Other Parts:

Radiator, Alternator, Generator, Starter, and Ignition System (excluding battery)


If it will fall under any of the above (and I am fairly sure that it might) then get moving.  You should go to the NYS attorney General's website as to this matter as well.  Good luck.


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