I recently sold a car in Massachusetts. I've owned it for 8 years and never had a problem with it. A buyer came and tested the car. Drove it and was very pleased.
When we wrote the contract, I made sure I put that the car is in "As-In" condition due to the fact that it was almost 18 years old (1998) with 225k miles. I received a call later on in the evening from the buyer who stated the car would not start for him. I did everything I could (even drove to the location at midnight to see if I could help) but nothing. After about a week of trying different things, I got an email from the buyer stating that he'd like a refund via the lemon law and has threatened me with court.
Am I protected? Should I hire a lemon law lawyer?
Massachusetts does not allow you to sell a car, "as-is." The lemon law (for new cars) and the used vehicle warranty law (for dealer sales) do not apply to private party sales in the same way. When you sell a car you are required to tell the buyer everything that you know is wrong with the car. If the buyer can show that you knew about the issue with the car and sold it to them anyways, then can demand a refund and cancel the sale within 30 days, minus 15 cents a mile for each mile driven. If you did not know about the issue, then the buyer cannot make a legal claim against you.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
As Mr. Owens stated it is about your knowledge that will be the heart of the litigation. Good luck.
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