Can I sue someone for selling me a lemon on Craigslist? All of this took place within 24 hours

Asked over 1 year ago - Saint Louis, MO

I saw a Craigslist ad for a 2001 Cadillac sls. Priced at 3500. I exchanged text messages with the seller in regards to the condition of the vehicle and the price. I asked if the car had any minor or major problems. seller said it was no problems. So we agreed to meet up and do business. I met him at his house and looked at the car, everything looked good. I got underneath the car and gave it a good look. Didn't notice any leaks, car idles smooth...no service engine light. So I purchased the vehicle. Soon as i got home the engine light came on. Next day I took it to get inspected and it failed safety/emissions.Needs 3000 dollars worth of work. Notified the owner, he basically told me 2 bad. And he spent the money.The ad and his text said the car was in good condition, no problems. Can I sue

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Ronald Jay Eisenberg

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . It would not fall under the Lemon Law, but you could sue under the Merchandising Practices Act and seek punitive damages and attorney fees, as well as actual damages. Your challenge will be proving he knew the car had problems.

    My comments are general in nature, are not legal advice as to your specific issue, and do not establish an... more
  2. Scott Richard Kaufman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You bet you can. Wish you good luck with it.

  3. Ronald Lee Burdge

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes. Most states that have a mandatory emissions inspection also have a law that says if you buy a car and it won't pass the inspection then you have the legal right to cancel the sale. Online car sales through ad listings and auctions can be a very risky way to buy a used car. You are giving your money away on trust alone. And if the seller is a private person (not a car dealer), things can be even tougher on the buyer. Even seller reviews posted on the auction site can not be believed because the seller can hire people to post those reviews and pretend to be satisfied buyers and you won’t know the difference. As a general rule, you should never pay for a car that you have not personally inspected and seen and checked out and gotten the title for it too. Once it’s done tough, and you find out the car isn’t what you thought it would be or it has problems of some kind, what are your rights? That usually depends on 2 things: the sales ad and if you were misled or lied to. In a private person sale, the seller’s only obligation in most states is to answer your questions truthfully and not hide something they know you would want to know about in making your decision. If the seller knows something and realizes that the buyer would want to know about it, but doesn't disclose it, the seller may be committing fraud by concealment. An outright lie can also be fraud. Every state has its own definition of fraud, but generally it's a lie or something kept hidden that costs you money. If you were lied to, and you can prove it, and if you act quickly after you learn of the fraud, then you may have the right to either cancel the deal or recover your damages (repair costs, etc). Also, in a used car sale, many of your legal rights (other than fraud) are determined by the seller’s ad because representations in the ad can amount to a warranty in most states. Look to see if there were any kind of promises or warranty in writing. Once you have already spent your money, it's not too late to have an independent repair shop inspect it and tell you what they think, but the best time is before you put down your hard earned money. Still, there is more than one way to get rid of a bad car or to get even when you’ve been ripped off. You should talk to a local Consumer Law lawyer about your state laws and what your rights are, right away. You can find a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers (http://www.USLemonLawyers.com) and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, NACA.net). But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time. And before you decide to buy a used car over the internet next time, read this Avvo.com guide on how to avoid getting ripped off in an online car sale: http://tinyurl.com/9jx72fl . If this answer was helpful, please give it a “Vote UP” review below. And be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Ron Burdge, Attorney, www.CarSalesFraud.com

    Go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers
    www.USLemonLawyers.com

    Buying a car online? First, read this Avvo.com guide on how to avoid getting ripped off in an online car sale
    http://tinyurl.com/9jx72fl

    This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your... more

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