Do I have any legal rights for a defective vehicle purchased w/as-is warranty. The vehicle had many hidden major defects.

Asked over 1 year ago - Plant City, FL

I purchased a vehicle almost one year ago from a used care dealer in Tampa, Florida. The vehicle I purchased was a 2003 Chevrolet tahoe. I traded my 2001 BMW 325i and placed roughly $3000.00 down. This left me with a balance of about $2700.00 on the vehicle. The vehicle was driven, visually inspected and I was assured that the vehicle was in great shape and that their mechanic did all there was that needed to be done to the vehicle. The first thing I noticed after driving the vehicle for approxiamately one day...the engine light came on. I notified the dealer immediately! and I was given the run around for a time frame in which their mechanic could take a look at the vehicle. then I have replaced a transmission, fuel filter,catylic converter...They refuse to call me to discuss these defec

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Douglas Ron Coenson

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Lemon Law would not apply here but you may have some protection under Florida's consumer laws. I strongly recommend you consult with an attorney in your area.

    Douglas R. Coenson, Esq.
    (561) 315-2120
    Jupiter, FL

  2. Steven Michael Fahlgren


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A few observations. The "as is" clause does not necessarily defeat a fraud claim or express warranty claim. See the Tinker v. De Maria case Many car dealers wrongly believe that an "as is" clause is an automatic get out of jail free card.
    There may be a duty to warn of latent defects. See Section 501.976, Fla. Stat., and specifically subsections 3 and 4 which make it an unfair and deceptive act for a dealer to: (3) Represent the previous usage or status of a vehicle to be something that it was not, or make usage or status representations unless the dealer has correct information regarding the history of the vehicle to support the representations.
    (4) Represent the quality of care, regularity of servicing, or general condition of a vehicle unless known by the dealer to be true and supportable by material fact.

    In summary, if the dealer wants to make representations about the prior use or status of a vehicle, it has a duty to be correct and telling a half truth is not sufficient. Therefore, it must disclose the bad with the good including latent defects. Rarely, if ever, do dealers not say anything about the prior use or status of a vehicle. Other articles on car buying tips can be found on my website under the articles tab. My website is I wish you the best in the future.

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  3. Scott Richard Kaufman

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As Is means NO warranty, but, it does not mean they can get away with taking advantage of you. If they lied to you or cheated you or hid the truth from you then you may have legal rights. Find someone good for a low or no cost consultation here;

  4. Stephen Joseph Cipolla

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You say you purchased the vehicle with an "as-is" warranty. What exactly does it provide in the event that the vehicle is loaded with defects? Did you have a mechanic of your choosing inspect the truck before you purchased and took title? You need to examine this "warranty" very closely. If you have any rights at all in this situation, they'd be defined in the documentation. In the meantime, gather up all your documents and see a lemon lawyer, you could have some rights under FL law.

    An "as is" offer is usually a big red light to put you on notice that you need to have a good mechanic with your interests in mind (it's worth the $$$) inspect the vehicle very closely and take it out and drive it hard to determine how it handles under stress. If the dealer objects, then walk away.

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