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Problem with car auction. What Can I do?

Rockville, MD |

I bought 2 cars from GSA Government and for both cars I paid 22k. Both cars on description says poor condition and transmission problem but since the mileage was low I called the factory and the factory would cover it still BUT after I paid for the car GSA emailed me saying mileage of one car is wrong. The mileage was high and no longer factory will cover it so I have to pay for repair.

Now, I did offer GSA a lower price for car with wrong mileage and the sale officer is being pain in a*s. I told her either accept my offer for the car with wrong mileage or cancel both of the cars. Its not worth for me to travel 800 miles to pick up one car. But she is not willing to cancel both of them. It was not my mistake.
I already paid airplane ticket and losing money. What can be done?

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Attorney answers 3


It's hard to say without looking at rules of auction and related contract documents. My best guess is the one with the misrep you can get out of. The one without the misrep you cannot get out of. As to your plane flight, you can usually use those funds towards another flight OR just use it to go get the car you do want. By the way, how do you pick up two cars at one time without some vehicle to drive them back? Sounds more like you booked a flight for two folks? You should be able to get credit for one of those flights, moving forward. Good luck with it.


I agree with Scott. It is impossible to say without knowing what the terms and conditions of the auction sale are.

Your offer to settle may be a reasonable one, but you may be in breach of your contract if you don't purchase the car that was properly described. Also, your loss on your plane tickets may be considered "consequential damages" and depending on the auction contract, you may or may not be able to recover such damages from the auction.

Consult with an attorney to review your auction contract.

I am an attorney who is only licensed in the State of Florida. My answer is general legal advice based upon what I perceive your question to be, and should not be relied upon because every person's facts and circumstances are unique, and because specific laws vary from state to state. To completely evaluate a legal issue requires reviewing and evaluating all relevant facts, applicable laws and other information. My answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, and offered for informational purposes only.


This is a tough spot. When you buy something at auction, you are always taking a chance and things are even worse if it is a government auction of government property. As Scott and Dana said, the auction rules and disclosures will make a lot of difference on what your legal rights might be. so will any sales paperwork you received, including any written description of the vehicles because that could amount to a warranty about the vehicles or the mileage. On top of that, many states have special laws that say what legal rights a buyer at an auction may have. Can you get a refund on a bad car? Can you make the seller fix it or pay for repairs? Can you get out of having to pay for it or get your money back when something goes wrong with it (like, the description was wrong or the engine is blown) through no fault of your own? Maybe, but there’s no way for us to tell without a lot more info from you and actually going over all your sales paperwork too. To get that done, you need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney near you who deals with your specific kind of case. 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, You can also look for one 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. 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. And please be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Thanks for asking and Good Luck. Ron Burdge,

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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.

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