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Bought a car that was claimed to pass inspection in ma but will not.. what are my rights in this situation?

Weymouth, MA |

I bought a 2000 Jeep grand Cherokee from a local auto repair shop a month ago. In the purchase agreement he wrote " as is to pass inspection". I signed n brought the car home. I found out that there was a hole in the muffler therefore it will not pass emissions. He obviously wants me to bring the car back to him to get the inspection just so he can pass it ... if I take the car to a different place to be inspected and it gets a rejection sticker does he legally have to fix it? The problem is time. I bought the car with my federal refund a month ago... and I wont have the money to put it on the road for another month or so... but its not like they can say the hole occurred within that two month tine frame ...can they? What can I do about this!

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Attorney answers 2


That may depend on what you and the seller meant by the phrase "as is to pass inspection." But the general rule is that you can cancel the sale if the vehicle does not pass a mandatory emission check. You can have an emissions test done at any proper facility and there is nothing in the law of any state that says you have to have it done by the person who sells you the vehicle. The question may not be what can you do so much as what is it that you want to do. Most states have an emissions law that says if you buy a car and it won't pass a mandatory emissions test, then you may have the right to cancel the sale. Some sellers and car dealers generally will try to talk you out of it, but these laws generally apply to all sellers and not just car dealers. Cancelling the deal would mean giving them back the vehicle and getting back all of your money. If you are happy with the car, then you may want to try to talk the seller into doing any necessary repairs so that you will keep the car. It’s all negotiable, but if you can’t work it out agreeably, then to find out what your state law says for sure, you need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case. You can look for 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. Better yet, you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers ( 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, 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. Thanks for asking and Good Luck. Ron Burdge,

Go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers

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.


You have a number of issues here. It is not unusual for laws requiring you pass inspection to also require them to unwind the deal if it will not so pass. Additionally, it's possible that this "seller" is selling plenty of vehicles, which may mean it's a "dealer" and required to have a license to sell vehicles. Contact a consumer protection attorney in your state for an inexpensive or free review.