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I bought a car recently on e-bay. The seller said the car had 950 miles on it. It really has 42,000 miles. Can I sue them?

San Diego, CA |

The seller had rebuilt the engine, which had 950 miles on it now, and that's why he stated this. But this is deceitful, because what he should have disclosed were how many miles were on THE CAR, not the engine. Also, the engine has some major problems and my mechanic said he can't even tune it up. They need to remove the engine to do work on it, and that's going to cost over $1,000. The car ran horribly when I received it. I know people will say I should have had the car inspected first, but can he really get away with lying like this? He lived a long ways away, so I couldn't go inspect the car. I relied on his honesty, and that was my mistake.

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Attorney answers 2


Trying to sue the seller for fraud regarding the mileage will be difficult for the reasons you stated. However, if the engine problems were something that he would have known about before he sold you the vehicle you might be able to sue him for fraud as well as several basis other than fraud. For example, rescission of the contract. There are a lot of questions that an attorney would have for you,i.e. was the sale "as is", how much did you pay for the vehicle, was there a written sales contract or a written receipt. I would suggest that you contact an attorney to review the matter.

Robert M. Berger is an attorney practicing in Los Angeles, CA focusing on the areas of business, real estate, construction law and litigation, and, estate planning. You may contact him at (818) 606-1491 or email him at The above response does not constitute legal advise.


You are going to have a number of issues/concerns here. Luckily, Ebay has a dispute resolution service and I'm sure you've saved the ad. I assume the car was sold by an out of state individual or business? That makes it tougher, as venue for a lawsuit may be in the other location. If you charged it or used paypal, there may be a way to dispute the charge too, but, you'll have to do it FAST. If the seller is someone who sells often, s/he may not wish to have a tarnished reputation. A little more info here may help...