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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    9

    Default Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Michigan

    I purchased a used vehicle from a used car dealership and after the fact found that the vehicle was unsafe to be on the road. After taking vehicle to a body shop for a minor repair they suggested that I have the vehicle checked by a mechanic for suspension and steering problems. I took the vehicle to a reputable repair shop and they inspected the vehicle and said that it was unsafe to be on the road because of worn out ball joints and other steering components. The repairs amounted to approximately $1,200. I called the salesman and told him of the problem and asked for the owner of the dealership to contact me. It has been 1 week and I have not heard from them. Now the brake light is on and the vehicle is leaking brake fluid. After inspecting the vehicle I found that a brake line has a hole in in from rubbing on a screw that was used to fasten a piece metal to patch a rust hole under the vehicle. Do I have any recourse?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,027

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    Did the car have a great big notice on the window, indicating that you were buying the car "as is" and without any warranty from the dealer?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Did the car have a great big notice on the window, indicating that you were buying the car "as is" and without any warranty from the dealer?
    Yes it did and I expected to have to put money into the vehicle. My problem is that it was unsafe to be on the road. Wouldn't something like that fall under UDAP or Warrant of Merchantability?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,187

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    Wouldn't something like that fall under UDAP or Warrant of Merchantability?
    not when you buy it "as is".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,868

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    If you accept a vehicle "as is" then it is in what ever condition it is in. You should have had the car inspected by someone you trust before you bought it "as is". You can't accept the car "as is" and then come back on the dealer and demand a warranty. He would have charged you a lot more for a car with a warranty.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    That is why you do test drives and you have your own mechanic take a look at the vehicle before you buy a car "as is". You also check CarFax, etc. to make sure it is not a salvage title or have other obvious problems.

    Bad ball joints are going to be pretty obvious to a decent mechanic.

    No sorry, there is no simple cure to your carelessness. The dealer owes you nothing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    Quote Quoting seanw
    View Post
    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Michigan

    I purchased a used vehicle from a used car dealership and after the fact found that the vehicle was unsafe to be on the road. After taking vehicle to a body shop for a minor repair they suggested that I have the vehicle checked by a mechanic for suspension and steering problems. I took the vehicle to a reputable repair shop and they inspected the vehicle and said that it was unsafe to be on the road because of worn out ball joints and other steering components. The repairs amounted to approximately $1,200. I called the salesman and told him of the problem and asked for the owner of the dealership to contact me. It has been 1 week and I have not heard from them. Now the brake light is on and the vehicle is leaking brake fluid. After inspecting the vehicle I found that a brake line has a hole in in from rubbing on a screw that was used to fasten a piece metal to patch a rust hole under the vehicle. Do I have any recourse?
    I was a "used car dealer" at one time in NY. Here is a link to "used car laws" in your state of MI.

    http://www.lemonjustice.com/lemon-la..._lemon_law.php

    Go to the paragraph on implied waranties, and it appears a "dealer" cannot hide behind an "as is" sale in your state, regardless of mileage. In NY where I am, the rule is I cannot make an "as is sale" for vehicles under a certain mileage, as I recall 100,000 miles, else the "as is clause" would be void. I can legally do "as is sales" on vehicles over 100,000 miles.

    There are no such limitations or rules on private sales.

    You might want to contact DMV in your state, or your local BBB for clarification on this point, that is, on the "implied warranties for as is sales on used cars" or if there are mileage limitations. Here in NYS, the governing authority is the DMV, so consumers would file complaints with them first, and expect quicker action than small claims as DMV can revoke dealer licenses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,027

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    "As is" isn't "hiding" - with "as is" window sticker "buyer's guides" required by law, the dealer must be very up-front about the nature of the as-is sale. I agree with the concept on that linked page that if the dealer commits fraud it may be possible to seek recourse based on the dealer's fraud, but as-is does otherwise mean that the car is sold with no warranty. A "silent fraud" case (allegation that the dealer knew of a major defect and failed to disclose it) would be far more viable, for example, with an odometer roll-back than with the fact that a used car later was found to have mechanical issues. Used cars that are old enough to have worn-out ball joints - you're usually talking 100,000+ miles - will have mechanical issues.

    Some used car dealerships will voluntarily do something (perhaps repair at a lower than normal cost) for an as-is used car, just to maintain customer relations and avoid bad publicity. Most, and particularly those that sell (for lack of a better word) beaters, don't seem to care.
    Quote Quoting Should I expect the used car I'm buying to have a warranty?
    Agency: Secretary of State

    No. Don't assume a used vehicle has a manufacturer's or dealer's warranty. Most used vehicles are not under warranty for any period of time. Any vehicle sold "as is" carries no warranty. You must pay for any repairs on a vehicle not covered by a warranty.

    If the seller promises to make repairs to get you to buy a vehicle, make sure you get the promise in writing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    We're talking about used car dealers standing behind their used cars.

    As a used car dealer here in NY, I'm just not allowed to do "as is" sales for anything under 100,000 miles anyway, so there is no point in putting "as is" on the sales contract. In fact, we trumpet the fact that we stand behind our product, which is what the law calls for anyway.

    In almost all cases, used car dealers would exchange it for another car, for no other reason than to maintain a good reputation, not to have customers bad mouth you, and then sell it to someone else, and hopefully make some repairs in the meantime, so you wouldn't have the next guy jumping all over you.

    Depending on the "exact" law in MI, it is possible that "as is" could be void, regardless of how they advertise it.

    One of the tricks here is someone is considered a "dealer" is he sells more than 6 used cars a year, and some used car dealers try to doctor up invoices to make it look like a private sale, and get rid of problem cars on unsuspecting customers, doing it "as is" as a private sale.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Sale of an Unsafe Vehicle

    The odometer only reads 58,000 miles but the vehicle is over 10 years old so it is exempt from odometer disclosure here in Michigan. The dealer also provided me with a carfax that does seem to verify the odometer.

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