Who’s legal responsibility is itif a used car is sold as having been in no accidents when in fact it was?

UPDATED: Nov 21, 2011

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UPDATED: Nov 21, 2011Fact Checked

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Who’s legal responsibility is itif a used car is sold as having been in no accidents when in fact it was?

I bought a used car and reviewed the car history report. The car is warranted and certified both in the report and by the dealership has being in no accidents. After 6 months, I brought my car to an autobody shop to fix a tail light and the mechanic told me there was evidence of a previous accident and damage to the frame of the car. When I bought the car it was cosmetically fine. What can I, as a consumer, do about it?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under General Practice, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You may not have recourse. IF the seller knew that there had been an accident, then you might have a claim: the seller would have committed fraud by misrepresenting (lying) to you about the accident history.In that event, you could potentially sue to recover damages or compensation.

However, 1) if the seller did not know, there is no liability--the seller was not dishonest and did not misrepresent (and therefore committed no fraud); and 2) even if the seller did know of the accident, you'd have to prove that the seller knew--which could be difficult, if the car history report and other documentation did not list any accidents.

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