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Dealer selling car that doesn't pass emissions ?

Denver, CO |

I bought a car from a dealership about 1 month ago and just recently took it to see if it would pass emissions and it doesn't now my question is since i live in colorado isnt it that the dealer is responsible for making sure your car passes emission and if i cant shouldnt even be able to sell it ?

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Attorney answers 3


In many states the legal answer is "no" they don't have to but in every state the practical answer is "yes" because of how the laws work. Let me explain. While many states do not have a law that specifically requires a car dealer to make sure that its used cars will pass a state-required emissions-pollution test, they make them do it because of what can happen if they don’t and they sell a car that won’t pass the emission test. The quick and easy answer is that the buyer probably can cancel the deal if they want to. 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 if you take action promptly after you find out about it. 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 Denver Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case (and Denver has several). 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 ( 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. Ron Burdge,

This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Click the link to find a Consumer Law attorney near you.


If you bought the car from a dealer in Colorado, the car must already have an emissions sticker on it. If it does not have a current sticker, then you need to call the State dealer board and file a complaint.

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Good Luck, jim

NOTICE— This answer is based upon a partial understanding of the facts and may not be relied upon as legal advice. It does not create an attorney client relationship between the writer and the attorney. It is provided for general information. You should always consult an attorney about your important legal rights.


As pointed out by my colleagues, the practical answer is that you will want to rescind this purchase from the dealer.

This is general legal information, not intended to apply to your specific case. And I may not be licensed to practice in your particular state. Under Federal Law, I am a debt relief agent.

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