Can I be sued and have to take car back

Asked almost 4 years ago - Austin, TX

I sold a car about a month ago. I entered into a contract because the buyer couldn't pay all the money up front. So we both signed am agreement stating car was being sold as is and to the best of my knowledge was in good condition. The agreement was $500 down payment then $250 a month until car is paid off. They looked at and test drove the car two months prior to agreement and transfer of the car. They drove it away from my house and when they got home they said there were problems with it. They never asked for money back just letting me know they were going to have someone look at it. A month later they are calling wanting their money back. Do I have an obligation to take car back and refund the money? The car was working and too my knowledge had no issues that I was aware of. Now they want to sue me

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Teri A. Walter

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Sounds like you have a pretty good defense. The written agreement should help you, as well as the time between the sale and the alleged problems.

  2. Brian W. Erikson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Under Texas law, if you knew of defects, but did not disclose them, you could have liability even under an "As Is" sale. A lot depends on the facts and circumstances, and whether the defects were readily apparent. That the buyer advised you immediately upon driving home is not a good sign. That fact would tend to indicate that the defect pre-dated the purchase. So, was the defect something apparent or latent (not apparent)?

    The resolution to this dispute may depend on how many miles the buyer drove. If the buyer used the car substantially, the buyer should at least owe something for the use of the car -- kind of like a rental charge.

    My gut reaction would be for you to take the car back, avoid the time, hassle and expense of litigation, and reach a deal on how much you refund with you getting an offset for the buyer's mileage and use of the car. But again, it depends on the defects of which the buyer is complaining, and whether the defects were apparent, latent, or caused by the buyer.

    Incidentally, when someone really sells a vehicle in Texas, they should file a vehicle transfer notification with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Otherwise, the title may never be transferred out of the seller's name, and the seller (still the owner in the eyes of the DMV) would be liable for traffic tickets, parking tickets, etc. The web address for this information at the DMV is:

    https://vision21.txdot.gov/Vehicle/MainTransfer...

    Good luck.

    Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below and/or designate my answer as best answer. Thanks.

  3. Brian W. Erikson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . The web link for the Texas Motor Vehicle page on notice of vehicle transfers for my answer above did not copy correctly. The link is:

    https://vision21.txdot.gov/Vehicle/MainTransfer...

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