What is the buyers rights ifthey buy an “as is” car at a lot?

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2012

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What is the buyers rights ifthey buy an “as is” car at a lot?

Asked on January 5, 2012 under General Practice, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) First, they have the right to not be lied to: that is, if the dealer tells them any lies about the car (e.g. claims it has less miles than it does, claims it has no mechanical problems when it has some significant ones, etc.), then the dealer may have committed fraud. This could give the buyer the right to seek compensation or rescind the transaction (i.e. give the car back, get his/her money back).

2) Similarly to the above, dealers have an affirmative duty to disclose significant issues affecting the car of which they are aware--such as whether it's had frame accident. A failure to do so can also be fraud.

Note, though, that 1) and 2) above  depend on the dealer being aware of the problem; if the dealer truly does not know of an issue, then there is no fraud in not disclosing it. Note, however, that the dealer can't hide behind a claimed lack of knowledge if any reasonable person in that sitaution would have or should have known of the problem.

3) Depending on the age and mileage of the car, it may be covered under your state's Lemon Law. In that case, you'd have whatever rights the Lemon Law gives you. (Some states only cover new cars; other states cover used cars that are not too old.)

4) You have the right to get what you paid for--so if you are paying for car with certain features, you have to get those features.

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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