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I Purchased a Car From Private Party Seller And The Car Is Failing Smog What Can I Do

Riverside, CA |

I Live In California And I Just Bought This Car From A Private Party Who Stated That the Car Is in Great Working Condition. My Main Questions Were The Obvious Ones...are there any leaks, does it smoke, do you have the clean title in hand, will it pass smog....all the answers to those questions were yes...upon purchase of the car and taking it to the smog station it failed i even installed a new cat converter since the original one was cracked and its still failed...there is only a little piece of paper stating that i bought the car as is...but the understanding was im buying the car that will pass smog "as is" since the seller stated that it would pass smog...Is there Any Action I can Take since its not passing??

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Attorney answers 2


This is one where it may be worthwhile to pay an attorney to prepare a letter for you on their letterhead to demand your money back plus the amounts you paid for smog and repairs (for return of the car.) Unfortunately, it cannot be guaranteed that you would win a case due to the "as is" condition (regardless of the verbal warranties given.) You probably should have had a mechanic inspect it (at your cost) prior to purchsing it. If the value is less than $10,000 you can sue (after the demand letter) in small claims court. Good luck.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.

Scott Richard Kaufman

Scott Richard Kaufman


Ms. Allen is an excellent attorney who is onlyl interested in helping folks out of their problems, so I shall politely disagree here. Please see my post above.

Adrienne Patricia Allen

Adrienne Patricia Allen


We all learn something new every day here on AVVO. Thanks for clarifying Scott!


Your issues are simple, here's why. A seller in CA may NOT sell an automobile without a proper smog certificate. It is the seller's duty to do so. This duty can not be contracted around, ie, they cannot promise you that it will pass smog. They have to do the smog themselves PRIOR to the sale, period. Here is my recent blog on this point.

While we could make quite a few claims here, you are entitled to a rescission based solely on this rule of law. Feel free to contact my office should you need more help making this work. We handle these types of claims statewide.

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