Buying a used car will probably always carry with it a certain amount of risk, at least more so than purchasing a new one. The average consumer may assume that “buyer beware” is still the law of the land when it comes to used vehicles. Fortunately, New Jersey has better consumer protection laws than simply “buyer beware.” There are instances where consumers unhappy with their used car can pursue legal action. In such cases, it is important to know what you can do, who you can sue and whether you want to take such action.
Depending on the condition you bought the car in, warranties and dealer obligations vary. Obviously, buying from a dealership is a whole different ballgame than buying from an individual. The below five reasons you may want to sue a used car dealer are general guidelines and are not legal advice. Be sure to consult a consumer law attorney. Here they are:
- Warranty or no warranty? Remember those specifics we just mentioned? Details matter. If the car is a clunker and costs you a ton of money in repairs, this may be a basis for a lawsuit. The terms of your contract make a world of difference. There may be an express warranty in addition to implied warranties under state law.
- Return rejected? If you received a written guarantee indicating that you can return the car “no questions asked” within a certain time, then you have something to bring to an attorney.
- Failure to disclose. Remember how we mentioned “buyer beware” earlier? As assumptions go, this is a common one. However, depending on state law, the contract you signed and the type of dealer you bought the car from, you may be able to hold the seller accountable for failure to disclose defects or damage in a court of law. Deliberate deception, false promises and omission of facts all are ample cause for legal action.
- Plain old fraud. The classics never die — a rolled back odometer, disguised frame damage etc. Any number of alterations may have been made to present the car in a condition other than its actual state. If your situation falls into this category, then this can be a basis for a lawsuit.
- Breach of contract. If your claim is contractual and terms were violated, then you may have a basis for a lawsuit.
You may end up finding out that it is unnecessary to sue. However, what is important is that you know your options. Make an appointment for a free initial consultation with this office.
Please be advised that this blog is for informational purposes only, is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment