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Car dealership sold me a used car without a working horn, is this legal? And what can I do?

Chicago, IL |

I bought a used car from a car dealership, and a hour after driving it off the lot I realized my horn did not work, in addition to other issues that were not as major. I took the car back two days later, but they would not take the car back. I have only put down $500 down, and the other $500 I am supposed to pay this week. However, I would just like to return the car and receive my down payment back. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. This isn't really a fraud question as much as a consumer law issue. There are time periods within which you have the right to rescind an agreement - I suggest you repost your question in the consumer law area.

    Legal disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The post is only an opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in Illinois. Please visit www.bernardjconway.com for more information about our services. If this post is useful to you, please remember to upvote it.


  2. If the contract ou signed doesn't say that you can rescind (cancel) this agreement, then you can't, and the vast majority of used car sales are "as is," without any warranty and without right to rescission.

    If your purchase was "as is," that means you're on notice to ake sure it's what you think it is, and the burden's on you to do your due diligence because the dealer probably won't any representations about the car and doesn't know anything about it anyway. When you only have to put $1000 down, $500 upfront and another $500 a week later, it's undeniable that you've got a cheap car that's going to need some work sooner or later.

    Did you test drive and examine the car before you bought it? Did you have your own mechanic do a thorough inspection? Did you revewi the maintenance records? The CarFax report?

    If not, you're going to have a very hard time arguing that your reliance on any representations (which they'll deny making anyway if they're not in writing) was reasonable, and fraud requires there to be a material misrepresentation of fact that you reasonably reply on that damages you.

    I'm only licensed in CA. 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.

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