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Is there a lemon law in Virginia?

Madison Heights, VA |

I bought a car from a private owner. the owner said the only thing wrong with the car was a hole in the radiator. He was suppose to replace it, instead he plugged it which it did not hold. When i got the car i drove it for 2 hours and it broke down. I called the guy i had bought the car from and told him the car had broke down and i wanted my money back. He said, take him to court. I had the car towed to his home. I have the keys and title. I have served him with court papers in an attempt to get my money back.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The lemon law only applies to vehicles in the first 18 months of its warranty. Unless you have a contract that requires the repair or a potential fraud claim, there is nothing you can do. Used car sales are usually sold as is if the seller is not a corporation. Consult with a local attorney for a review of the sales agreement (if it was oral, I think you may be out of luck).

    [This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]


  2. In a private person sale, the law is very different from a car dealer sale. In a sale between two individuals, neither of whom is a car dealer, in most states the only obligation on the seller is to answer your questions honestly and not hide anything that they realize you would want to know about. They have to tell the truth about the mileage on the car too by filling out correctly and honestly an odometer statement for the buyer. 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. If the seller lied to you or hid something from you, then that can be fraud in most states. If none of that applies to your deal, then you may be stuck. To learn more about what fraud legally means, check out this Avvo Guide, “What is Fraud?”: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-is-fraud-1. It would be well worth your time to meet with a local attorney to find out how the court process will work in your case so you can increase your chances of winning when you go to court. To find out more about auto sales fraud law in your state, and what all this means, legally speaking, in your situation, you need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who knows the law in your state. Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or 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. If this answer was helpful, please give me a “thumbs up’ below. Ron Burdge, www.carsalesfraud.com, www.USLemonLawyers.com