Is there any legal action that I can take regarding my used car purchase?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is there any legal action that I can take regarding my used car purchase?

I bought a used car from a car lot, money in hand, and title signed. He said the car worked great and said only the sunroof had issues. He didn’t tell me it had bad brakes and electrical issues

that killed the battery. I asked if I could return the vehicle and he said he would switch it out for another. However, every vehicle he offered, he would say was junk and didn’t want me to have it.

He kept doing this for 4-5 weeks. At this point, he has the car back. He never responds to my texts or calls, so I went to his higher-up, she verbally agreed to give me a full refund for the car but now I can’t get a hold of her or the man. They have my money, my car but are never are at the car lot or pick up the phone. This has been over a month and I have tried to reason with them and said I would have to bring the law in if they don’t get the money to me. I need to know what I can do legally?

Asked on May 4, 2019 under Business Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the dealership on serveral grounds to get your money back:
1) Fraud: if thery knew about the electrical issues and brakes but did not tell you, they misrepresented (lied about) material (important) facts and that is fraud; fraud is grounds to recover your payment.
2) Breach of contract: you paid them for a car. That means you give them money, they in turn give you a car. If they keep your money while also keeping the car, they have violated the contract.
3) Unjust enrichment: they can't take your money, which you obviously paid to get something (a car) without providing the thing you paid for--they would unjustly (or unfairly) "enriched" if they were allowed to do that.
So you have several grounds to sue them, and a lawsuit is your only recourse. 

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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