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Car dealer did not disclose all problems when selling a used mini-van to us 3 days ago. What can we do now?

Houston, TX |

Bought a van 3 days ago from dealer/mechanic. Next day van started driving real bad, so we had to get it towed back to dealer. He took it to his mechanic and had callipers replaced, although the only problem with van that was disclosed was we need to replace the hose to power steering pump because of leak. Got the van back yesterday. Today we went to our mechanic to get hose replaced and he said that the rack-n-pionion is shot and will cost $900 to replace, because oil is leaking everywhere. Dealer's mechanic also put on wrong callipers. We called dealer and had our mechanic talk to him, and he told our mechanic not to mention anything about the oil problem. Total to repair at least $ 1300. Dealer knew that we needed a vehicle to find jobs, because we are both unemployed. HELP!

Attorney Answers 3

  1. If he is a "dealer" like you say, you might be able to sue him in small claims court for breach of warranty of merchantability, fraud, and warranty of fitness for particular purpose. You may be able to get your money back or obtain monies to fix the defects.

    Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC

  2. Sounds like dealer may had some idea about the extent of issues with the car. Consider consulting with a consumer law attorney in your area to determine the extent of potential claims you have. Try to find someone nearby. Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: This reponse is for informational purposes only and cannot be treated as legal advice. Legal advice depends on the specific facts of the particular matter at issue. Accordingly, you should not rely on or act on any information provided herein without consulting with legal counsel that is licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Arthur J. Obolsky.

  3. You definitely need legal advice and assistance to determine what remedies you may have, and it will require assessment of the paperwork you received when you purchased the vehicle, as there probably are warranty limitations that will have to be addressed. Depending on what can be established about the extent of the dealer's knowledge of the problems, there may be a claim here for violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

    Given that you are both unemployed, it's possible that you may qualify for free legal assistance. Contact the Houston Volunteer Lawyer Program (at http:/ to find out whether they may be able to help you or can refer you to another program that will help. Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this post is not intended to be, nor is it, specific legal advice for the facts cited or for any similar facts. The reader is encouraged to seek the assistance of a lawyer to assess the complete set of facts and provide legal advise thereon. This post does not establish an attorney/client relationship with the person who presented to actual question or any other person.

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