Can I trade in this car or get money back or pull a lemon law? 2002 Hyundai GX 350.?

Asked over 3 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

Long story short.. since I had the car, within days it died on me at a traffic light, the gas tank and trunk lever doesnt work from inside (had to pop the gas tank door by the emergency pull in the trunk), noticed a huge crack on the windshield, speedometer broken, squeaking, check engine light still on, doors would lock on random times, front suspensions would make a loud noise when going on bumps and the front would jump up and down (felt like the whole front would fall)..
Been taking it in to the dealers almost every other day because they needed to check on more things. I told them about the check engine light, car dying, they said the check engine was the speedometer and they needed a part. Then the car dying was about engine coolant and heating so they put that in and said that the problem was solved. The check engine light would only be the broken speedometer.
A couple weeks later got a ticket for broken windshield, I took it in and they fixed it within a day. But wish they could've fixed it before they sold it to me. Had to pay a $25 ticket. I went to get an oil change somewhere and they told me that my car didn't have an air filter to the engine. Said it was urgent to get one asap. So I had to buy one.
Within a month of having the car I got a job so I've been driving it to and from work everyday. A couple weeks into the job my car kept dying 3 times a week. Tried to make appt to bring it in to them but I couldnt find the time to since they are too busy on the weekends. Finally took it in with a list of complaints. They said that my brakes were gone and that I needed to change them asap, yes my brakes were grinding on metal and scratching when I brough it in. They were going to charge me for all 4 wheels for about $400. I barely make enough to pay rent and this car so I needed time. I bought my own parts and decided to go in just to pay for labor. They said $100 for the rear brakes which were the worse. I tried to change them myself since my roommate worked on cars but while doing it he could'nt get the wheel off, the bolts were off but the wheel/tire would not budge. My car has not been running for 2 weeks because of the brakes.
Then the check engine light came on, I brough it in and they said they had to clean some hoses and other parts because some parts were clogged. Told me he didn't know if it was covered under warranty. They did it and the cost was $400, but he didn't charge me.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . This is your short story? 1st, the Lemon Law doesn't apply to used cars, although it might apply to specific warranties - do you get one for this used car? If so review it, or hire a lawyer for help.

    How did you not notice this "huge crack" in the windshield? Fraud law doesn't apply to anything except factual misstatements you reasonably relied on, Fraud woud entitle you to recind (cancel) the deal, but nothing you've described here is based on any misstatements of fact that induced you to buy this car. Fraud law doesn't cover things you should have seen in a simple visual inspection, and same goes for the other obvious flaws in the car, that a test drive, and test of controls would have disclosed. You needed to have had your own mechanic inspect the car, review all maintenance records and a CarFax report, and do your own examination BEFORE deciding to buy a used car, otherwise you assume all risks, since everyone knows that used cars will need work sooner or later.

    You've described no grounds to rescind the deal and get a refund. whether you can use the Lemon Law depends on your warranty. whether you can trade the car in is a business question that depends on the market, but if you do trade it or sell it, disclose these problems and make sure the sale is "as is," and like you should have done, the buyer needs to beware.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Douglas Carl Sohn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are having. There are a number of California laws that may give you relief in this case. First, you mention a warranty. It is very important for any attorney reviewing this case (and you are going to need to see one) has that warranty to review and analyze. It may very well give you substantial rights. In fact, a used car with a warranty does qualify under California Lemon Law (CC 1795.5). Also, you may be protected by what is know as the "implied warranty of merchantability" which says that if you buy a car, it is implied that the car is usable as a car. If the problems with your car could be shown to have existed when you bought it, and are serious enough, this law may help you. In addition, in California, the dealer is not allowed to sell you a vehicle with non-operational brakes. Again, depending upon the facts, that may help you.

    I urge you to immediately contact an experienced Lemon Law/auto fraud attorney and set up an appointment. This is usually free, as it is at my office. In the meantime, gather up all your paperwork on the car, do not talk to the dealer, do not sign any more papers with the dealer or give the dealer any more money.

    Best of luck.
    Doug Sohn

    Please note this is a general comment based upon limited facts and is not to be considered legal advice.

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