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I sold a vehicle a private buyer "as is" and now they are threatening to take me to small claims court is this possible?

Maryville, MO |

The vehicle was leaking oil at time of purchase but they were aware and informed of the problem and what needed fixed and purchased it anyway again sold as is. on the way home about 45 min later the vehicle spewed oil out all over the place from the part we told them needed replaced. Now nearly a month later they are wanting me to pay for repairs for that part which is somewhat understandable but they are also wanting me to pay for other repairs that i was not aware of at time of sale. Am i supposed to pay for anyof this or can i be taken to court?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You can get sued in small claims court whether you have paperwork or not. Having the "as is " paperwork may work as a defense. It is an acceptable defense, and unless you misinformed them or misrepresented something, you should prevail. Now, that doesn't mean you will win. That is up to the Judge. Yes, they can sue you in small claims court, but that doesn't mean they will win. I hope this helps.

  2. You bet it's possible.
    You'll have to assess the possibilities. It may be worth your while to talk to an atty for a short consultation in your area?

  3. Can you get sued? yes. Should you try to work it out even if it costs you some money? yes. If you can't work it out, should you talk to a lawyer to be sure of your obligations and rights? yes. In a private sale, in most states the seller’s only obligation is to answer questions truthfully, not hide anything, tell the truth about the vehicle mileage, not sell a dangerous-to-use vehicle, and sign over a clear title to the vehicle. There is no general 3 day right to cancel, or anything like that, in a car dealer sale or in a private sale unless it is part of the original deal. It’s true that buying or selling a car in a private sale can be risky business because the law is very different from a car dealer sale. In a sale between two people, neither of whom is a car dealer, in most states the only obligation on the seller is to answer the buyer’s questions honestly and not hide anything that the seller knows the buyer would want to know about. The seller has to tell the truth about the mileage on the car too by filling out correctly and honestly an odometer statement for the buyer to have. And in those states that require mandatory emissions tests in order to get a vehicle licensed, many of those states say that if the emission/pollution equipment was disabled or removed then the buyer may have the right to cancel the sale. But if the seller hides the truth or misleads or outright lies to the buyer, that can be an act of fraud and trying to claim it was sold “as is” won’t let the seller off the hook for fraud. There are some general tips at too. Also there is a used car lemon law in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode, but nowhere else so far - and most of those only apply to car dealers and not private sellers. Next time, if you want to make the agreement clear so no dispute comes up later, the buyer and seller should consider writing out a “contract of sale” which says what the year, make and model and “VIN” number of the vehicle is, and also what (if anything) is being represented about the vehicle or if it is being sold “as is,” and then both of them sign it and each keeps a copy. But a written contract is not required in most states to privately sell a motor vehicle. Car dealers, however, have to use a written contract in every sale. To find out for sure what your obligations and rights are in a private vehicle sale in your state, you need to talk to a local lemon law lawyer. Check this web page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Local Lemon Law Lawyers (they don't pay to be listed here and most of them are members of the only national association of consumer law lawyers): If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. And be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Thanks. Ron Burdge,

    Find a local Lemon Law Lawyer near you, click here

    Read this free online Avvo Legal Guide, What is Fraud?

    Read the Avvo Legal Guide on US State Lemon Laws, click here

    This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your state may differ and your best answer will always come from a local attorney that you meet with privately. For a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers, click on this link ( and find one near you

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