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Buying An "as Is" Vehicle With Pre Existing Problem

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Buying An "as Is" Vehicle With Pre Existing Problem

Postby Farly » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:54 pm

I live in Indiana and im buying a used 1999 Honda Accord  "as is" and it had a pre existing problem that the lot said they would fix before i came the next day to pick it up well after picking it up and driving it for about two hours the check engine light came back on which was the problem they said they would fix . I had the car one day and now they will not fix it or let get a different one or give me back my $2500 down payment. i have talked to them and taken the car back to them 3 separate times  and nothing! what can i do?
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:57 am

Buying An "as Is" Vehicle With Pre Existing Problem

Postby Gethin » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:46 am




Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.


Hudson Cook, LLP


[email protected]          When “As Is” Doesn’t Mean “As Is”

As is. Two small words. Four letters. And everyone on the planet knows what “as is” means, right?

It means, “Here it is, dude. You take it like you find it. Life’s a series of risks, and this is another one. No guarantees, no warranties—nada, zip, zero. If something goes amiss, it’s on you, pal.” Everybody knows what it means.

Except when that’s not what it means. Consider, for example, a report of a recent lawsuit.

Fred James Williams bought a used car from Williams Chevrolet, Inc. that was financed by General Motors Acceptance Corporation. The salesman stated that the car had been inspected and had been found free of mechanical problems or deficiencies. But Williams also signed a vehicle order that stated the vehicle was sold “as is” with no warranty. The car broke down when Williams was driving home. The car was then repaired and inspected by another repair shop that identified several deficiencies that Williams claimed should have been identified by the selling dealer’s inspection. After those deficiencies were not repaired by the dealer, Williams sued the dealership and GMAC, alleging fraud, breach of warranty, violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, and violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The fraud and MCPA claims were based on the oral statement of the salesman. Williams and GMAC settled regarding his claims against GMAC. The dealership moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment on all claims because the dealership had disclaimed any warranty. The trial court determined that the fraud and MCPA claims failed because Williams’ reliance on the salesman’s statement was unreasonable due to the disclaimer. Basically, the trial court said “as is” means “as is,” and it doesn’t matter what the sales guy said. Unhappy with this result, Williams appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals of Michigan.

The Michigan appellate court determined that the trial court erred on the fraud and MCPA claims, but not on the warranty and MMWA claims. The appellate court determined that the false oral statements made by the salesman did not contradict the written contract disclaiming any warranty and therefore, it was not necessarily unreasonable for Williams to rely on those statements. The warranty and MMWA claims were dismissed because they contradicted the warranty disclaimer in the written contract. So, at least in this case, “as is” means “as is, plus whatever the salesman tells you.”

Vol. 9, Issue 1

Sorry to hear about the problems with your car buying experience. I am on the road today but wanted to get back to you with you to let you know that I am on it and to ask you a couple of additional questions.

1. When you bought it did they give you a 'we owe' or anything in writing acknowledging their commitment to fixing the problem for you?

2. It sounds to me like they fixed nothing at all but simply used their scan tool to clear the codes that triggered the warning light. Then after you drove it for a few hours your car threw the same codes again causing your light to come back on. It would be helpful to know what triggered the check engine light(O2 sensor, engine misfire etc.) any major auto parts store will use their scan tool and read those codes for you and then tell you what they mean...this information will make it easier to decide the best course of action for us since something like an O2 sensor is a 75.00 fix and other issues can be way more expensive. They probably know what is causing it but can no longer be trusted to give us the correct answer. If you could stop and have it checked real quick the information could potentially be very very important to us

3. Was the dealer a franchised dealer or a used car dealer on a rock lot somewhere? How many cars would you guess are on his lot

4, It sounds like you financed the car... you should immediately call the bank doing the loan and tell them to STOP(or put on hold) this transaction...if it's not too late... tell them the dealer is refusing to live up to his end of the deal and the contract you signed was contingent upon BOTH paties following thru. my email address is [email protected] please get back to me with this info and I will get back to you later today with our plan of action!

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