What to do if a seller will not make repairs for vehicle to pass smog emissions testing?

UPDATED: Jun 26, 2012

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What to do if a seller will not make repairs for vehicle to pass smog emissions testing?

My daughter purchased a used car from a private party. The vehicle needed tires and other repairs, which she paid for prior to title transfer. What legal recourse does she have to recover repairs, new tire cost and purchase price of vehicle if seller refuses to get vehicle legal smog repairs and clearance with DMV?

Asked on June 26, 2012 under Business Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you had some sort of oral contract that the other party would pay for those costs, then you could sue in small claims to recover those costs.  Normally a transfer of auto title in CA is not legal unless the car passes smog.  The burden is on the owner of the vehicle to get the car to pass smog.  However, your daughter appears to have taken upon herself to pay the money to get it up and running.  Used cars to dont have to meet any standards other than smog (i.e. tires) in order to be ready for sale. 

I would say she is out of luck unless she had some sort of oral or written contract that they would compensate her for the cost of getting the car up and running.


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