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Is Son's car problem covered under WA State Lemon Law due to dealer neglect?

Seattle, WA |

1st day of purchase on carlot light comes on, son checks oil - find no dipstick, dealer tells son (now that car is sold) "Oh, I can fix that bring it back tomorrow. Son being gullable, says okay rather than giving back the car. Son takes car back next day dealer turned light off and new dipstick put in. Days after light back on/off randomly. 2 wks after buy son has oil changed at PepBoys and told tie rods and alignment was bad, he calls dealer, dealer charges $90 to fix tie rods but not alignment. 2 months later car stalls while on freeway, all lights come on and car has to be towed home. Son towed car to dealer and they say son was driving the car without oil in it and they won't fix it as it is his fault. They also sat his car outside lot knowing son can't drive car.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Though there are several additional facts necessary to fully understand your potential claims, it looks like you might have claims under your state's lemon laws (assuming there's a warranty on the car) and/or potential claims against the seller for misrepresenting the true condition of the car. Also, it appears there might be a negligent repair claim against PepBoys, since from your description they were the last ones to replace the car's oil. In any event, find a consumer law attorney near you and provide him or her with a thorough depiction of what happened. Try www.naca.net if you have trouble locating a consumer law attorney in your area. 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.


  2. Sounds like you have a cause for a Small Claim Court case. Take any documents pertinent to the sale and anything else you have that documents the problems and ask the Judge to order a full refund. Good Luck!


  3. The warning light for me IS the warning light. Dealer knew or should have known something was up which may bring your state's UDAP statute into play. Definitely contact a consumer protection atty right away. Try http://www.naca.net for someone competent in lemon law and auto fraud matters.


  4. Washington's "Lemon Law" (RCW 19.118) applies to new vehicles, and to manufacturers rather than dealers. That said, you probably have a claim against the dealer for misrepresntation and/or breach of warranty. Small Claims might be the right avenue for you -- In King County, the dollar limit is $5,000. You can handle a small claims case yourself. If the amount in controversy is higher, you may need to retain and attorney.