I bought used car that broke down within a few days, can I sue the dealer?
6 attorney answers
According to the information you have provided, you have a problem with a car dealer; specifically, you may have purchased a vehicle without proper disclosure or in a situation where the prior use, condition, history or type of vehicle was misrepresented. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience defending and suing car dealers. Prior to forming my own practice in 2002, I represented several car dealers. Since forming my own practice, I represent consumers and no longer represent any car dealers. I have sued several car dealerships for selling a used vehicle without proper disclosure. You have provided some basic information about your problem, but it would be helpful to review the contract documents.
It sounds like you may have a claim for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Just because something is sold "as is" does not give the seller a license to lie about the prior use, condition or history of the vehicle. There are certain disclosure laws that apply to car dealers selling cars to consumers versus a dealer selling someone a vehicle for commercial use.
It would also be useful to read a detailed time line in chronological order reflecting the dates and the specific details of what happened. I really need to know what representations were made, when they were made, who was present, the details and date/time of all communications with the car dealer, any finance company or any repair shop relating to your potential matter. It is very important that you also provide a chronological copy of the relevant documents including but not limited to any advertisements that may pertain to your vehicle, any documents you obtained from the dealership, finance company or repair shop.
Ordinarily, you should not get the vehicle repaired or dispose of the vehicle unless and until it has been inspected by your expert and the other side has been given a significant opportunity to inspect the car as well. Otherwise, you may be subject to a defense that you spoiled the evidence.
Again, based on the information you presented, you may have a case under Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act or another cause of action. Effective July 1, 2013, a law requires specific demand letters to car dealerships or you will lose valuable rights. It is usually advisable to retain an attorney before pursuing litigation. I wish you the best in the future.
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It is always advisable to have a used vehicle inspected before you purchase it. However, just because you bought the vehicle “as-is” does not mean that you are necessarily out of luck. If the defects in the engine vehicle were there when you purchased it (and it sounds like they were) and the dealer knew about it but misrepresented the condition of the vehicle to you or kept it a secret, then you may have a fraud claim. You may also have a claim under your state UDAP (Consumer Law) Statute. However, laws vary from state to state, so you should contact a consumer law attorney in Florida to review your case and look over your paperwork. Your paperwork may even reveal additional violations you do not even know about. To find a consumer law attorney in your state, you can go to www.USLemonLawyers.com. You can also look for one 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 a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in court before your rights expire.
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Your paperwork will likely control, which means probably not. However, if the dealer misrepresented the car and you found out later, you may have a remedy. You need to consult with a consumer fraud lawyer near you. Use Avvo find a lawyer feature to help you locate one near you
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You may, but it would cost you. You have no warranty claims, because you bought the car "as is." But generally (need to check FL law) you still can "revoke acceptance" of the goods if the goods are "substantially impaired in value" to you. Unfortunately, it is not a fee-shifting claim. Interestingly, revocation of acceptance is a self-help remedy, which is effective upon notice, so if you revoke, it takes place, and then the dealer will have to sue you to prove your revocation unjustified. The bottom line is, it depends on how much money is involved. If substantial amount, it might be worth your while to hire a lawyer knowledgeable in FL commercial code.
Not likely. merely because the car is crappy does not over come AS-IS sale. This means it was up to you to inspect the car prior to purchase. You will need to show that the dealer fraudulently induced you to buy the vehicle, which is a very difficult and often expensive battle.
Your paperwork controls. The likelihood is you are struck since you bought it in whatever condition it was in AND you chose not to have it evaluated by your own mechanic. Seek some legal guidance with all your papers.
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