Purchased a used vehicle from a dealership. In the first hour, expensive repairs surfaced. Do we have any recourse?

Asked over 1 year ago - Belleville, IL

Purchased the vehicle "as is" on Saturday and were told the vehicle was road ready and well maintained by the dealership. Within the first hour, the transmission began to shudder, and continues to occur more frequently. We went to return the vehicle immediately to discuss the transmission with the dealership, but the battery had died and needed to be replaced. Due to the dead battery, we were not able to return before close of business, but did call and leave a phone message to which we are awaiting reply. The battery I expect to be regular maintenance, but the transmission will likely exceed 30% of the value of the vehicle. Even though the vehicle was purchased as is, do we have a "reasonable expectation" the vehicle will operate longer than an hour? Please advise!

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Dmitry N Feofanov

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . What you attempted to do is called "rejection." This is a complicated song and dance, and you should not doing this at home. You will need a knowledgeable lawyer to get through this, so you should be on the phone TODAY.

  2. Jeffrey Morris Jacobson

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Depending upon the year of the vehicle, you get a warranty on the transmission. However, you bought it with no warranties, and you should not have. check drivetrain warranty to see if your car is eligible. Hopefully they will just taker it back.

  3. Scott Richard Kaufman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You may indeed. I highly recommend the fellow who has already responded, Mr. Feafanov. He's top notch in this area of law. Find him or someone else almost as good here:




  4. Ronald Lee Burdge

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Practically speaking, “as is” isn’t always legally as is, even though every car dealer wants it customers to think so. Still, “As Is” can be a hard thing to get around in a used car sale. In most states, your legal rights in a used car sale are mostly determined by the paperwork that you sign, what was told to you 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 the dealer says you didn’t and 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. Also, in some states an oral representation by the seller may over-ride a written disclaimer of warranties. Also in every sale there is a “warranty of description of the goods” which means that if the sales contract describes the vehicle then the vehicle you get must match the description. Also there’s a federal law that requires all car dealers to post on the window of all used cars they are selling a special “Buyer Guide” form (it’s often called a Used Car Window Sticker) that discloses your warranty rights. Many small lot car dealers don’t comply with the law. If they don’t, then you may end up with a warranty after all and you may even have the right to cancel the sale. The back side of the form has to be completely filled out and many car lots, big and small, fail to do that too and that can also trigger your right to cancel the deal. You can see what the Buyer Guide form looks like at the link below. Once you have already spent your money, it's not too late to have an independent repair shop inspect it and tell you what they think, but the best time is before you put down your hard earned money. If less than a few thousand dollars is involved, you may want to go to Small Claims Court on your own instead of getting an attorney. To find out what your rights are in your state, you need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case (it's called "autofraud" or car sales fraud). You can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers (www.USLemonLawyers.com) 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). You can also look for one here on Avvo under the Find a Lawyer tab. Or you can call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you. 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 a “Vote Up” review below. And please be sure to mark the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Thanks for asking and Good Luck. Ron Burdge, www.CarSalesFraud.com, www.USLemonLawyers.com

    What does a Used Car Buyer Guide warranty form look like? Click Here and see

    What is Fraud? Click Here to find out

    For a Free 50-state National List of Consumer Law Lawyers, Click Here

    How can you avoid buying a lemon used car? Click Here to find out

    Learn the tricks of car sales fraud so you don’t become a victim, Click Here

    Are you a victim of fraud? Learn the 3 kinds of fraud, Click Here

    This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your... more

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