If I bought a car that won’t pass the emissions test, what can I do?

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2012

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If I bought a car that won’t pass the emissions test, what can I do?

I bought a car from a private party; he never gave me an emissions inspection certificate. I found out after the sale that the car needs close to $1000 in work to pass the test. He did not sell it to me with a salvage or “tow-away” title but the bill of sale says “as is”. Do I have a legal ability to make him pay for the repairs? Can I reverse the sale?

Asked on March 30, 2012 under General Practice, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the private party sold you the car you bought knowing that it would not have passed the emissions test that you are writing about, he or she should have disclosed this material fact in that had you known the truth about the car, you might not have bought it or paid the price paid.

The issue is whether or not the seller knew about the problems with the car that seemingly were not disclosed to you before the sale. If you can prove this knowledge, you have a factual and legal basis to cancel your purchase and get your money back. I would call the seller and request that the sale be rescinded where you get your money back. If that does not result in a resolution to your liking, your option is to bring a legal action for damages and or cancellation of the purchase contract.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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