we bought a used explorer listed on craigslist from a dealership. it said it had no mechanical problems. after getting it we have found that there are quite a few mechanical problems with it. the air conditioner blower cuts in and out. the motor dies while driving. there is a bad vibration over the whole vehicle while the air is on. the cruise control panel was glued on and fell off as we were driving home and the ignition switch sticks.
what options do we have with this vehicle? can we get our money back or a partial refund? can we get them to repair the vehicle?
Personal Injury Lawyer
In Tennessee, the Lemon Law only applies to new cars, not used cars. If the car you purchased was sold "AS IS" then you are generally out of luck as that warning gives you notice that if you have concerns you should have a mechanic check it out. If it was sold with some warranty on the vehicle, you may have rights under the warranty but not under any Lemon Law.
Lemon Law Attorney
A few states have lemon laws to cover used cars, but, as Mr. Sauer notes, TN is apparently not one of them. Luckily, there is a Federal lemon law, Magnuson Moss that does cover used vehicles, if they came with a warranty. Further, if there were material representations made that turn out not to be true, this too may be actionable under your state's UDAP laws.
Get a consultation with someone in your state who handles lemon law and auto fraud matters. Find someone qualified here: http://www.naca.net
Lemon Law Attorney
There is a used car lemon law in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, but not in your state. So that means you have to look at your sales paperwork first. If there is no warranty or guarantee there, then you look at the oral representations that were made and ask if you are the victim of fraud. There is a long technical definition for fraud in each state but basically it is a lie that costs you money. If your purchase was “as is” then that is what the dealer will argue to avoid doing anything for you. Practically speaking, “as is” isn’t always legally as is, even though every car dealer wants you to think so. In most states, your legal rights in a used car sale are mostly determined by the paperwork that you sign, what you were told by the dealer, and if the dealer hid anything serious about the vehicle from you. But even in an “as is” sale you might get some legal rights anyway, even if you thought you didn’t. And besides that, if the seller hid something from you that they knew and also knew you would want to know about before committing to the purchase, then that can be fraud - regardless of any “as is” sales attempt. Online car sales through ad listings and auctions can be a very risky way to buy a used car. You giving your money away on trust alone. Even car dealer reviews posted on the auction site can not be believed because the dealer can hire people to post those reviews and pretend to be satisfied customers - and you won’t know the difference. And a private sale can be even worse. As a general rule, you should never pay for a car that you have not personally inspected and seen and checked out and gotten the title for it too. Otherwise, you could be giving your money away. Once it’s done, things get a lot harder. If the seller knows something and realizes that the buyer would want to know about it, but doesn't disclose it, the seller may be committing fraud by concealment. An outright lie can also be fraud. Every state has its own definition of fraud, but generally it's a lie or something kept hidden that costs you money. If you were lied to, and you can prove it, and if you act quickly after you learn of the fraud, then you may have the right to either cancel the deal or recover the amount you were overcharged for the damaged car. You should talk to a local Consumer Law lawyer about your state laws and what your rights are, right away. You can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers (http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/ocll-site/ocll-locate_local.shtml) and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, NACA.net). But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. And before you decide to buy a used car over the internet next time, read this Avvo.com guide on how to avoid getting ripped off in an online car sale: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/10-rules-to-avoid-online-car-sales--auction-ripoffs. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. And please be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Ron Burdge, Attorney, www.CarSalesFraud.com
Go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers
Buying a car online? First, read this Avvo.com guide on how to avoid getting ripped off in an online car sale
Learn more about car dealer sales fraud tricks, 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. If you need a Consumer Law attorney, click the link above to find a Consumer Law attorney near you.
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