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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    7

    Default Bought a Car That Won't Pass Smog Seller Refuse to Give Money Back

    My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: California

    Last Saturday I purchased a Vehicle, at the time of the purchased he showed me the smog paper from last year and guaranteed that it will pass smog. After paying for it in full we took the truck. When we brought it in for a smog test it failed.

    I just called the seller explaining to him the situation and he gave me a hard time and started swearing etc.. etc..

    Since we purchased the vehicle we've put less than 100 miles on it and that's basically to drive from the seller home.

    What are my options at this point?

    BTW: There was no bill of sales or anything, he just handed me the title and call it it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,407

    Default Re: Bought a Car That Won't Pass Smog Seller Refuse to Give Money Back

    If you believe that he made an enforceable promise that it would pass smog, you can always take him to court (likely small claims) and see if you can convince a court that this was a contract.

    Absent that, you may be out of luck and will have to figure out how to get it to pass smog.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,783

    Default Re: Bought a Car That Won't Pass Smog Seller Refuse to Give Money Back

    I thought California law required a car to be able to pass smog testing when selling. Am I incorrect in that?

    from:

    http://www.autorepair.ca.gov/80_BARR...Equip_Req.html


    When a used vehicle is sold in California, the seller is legally responsible for making sure that the vehicle's emission (smog) control equipment complies with state requirements. There is no provision in the law allowing a seller to sell a vehicle "as is." The buyer must submit the certificate of compliance (smog certificate) to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when transferring registration of the vehicle. Without the smog certificate, the transfer of ownership cannot be completed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,407

    Default Re: Bought a Car That Won't Pass Smog Seller Refuse to Give Money Back

    Smog is not always required:

    When you transfer a vehicle that is four or less model years old a smog certification is not required. (Determine the oldest-qualifying year model by subtracting three from the current year.) The four or less model years old rule does not apply to diesel powered vehicles. A smog transfer fee will be collected from the new owner . When a vehicle is more than four model years old, a seller must provide evidence of a current smog certification except when one of the following occurs:

    * The transfer occurs between a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild.
    * A biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of certification).

    Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of issuance.

    However, there is the practical side of the matter and since the OP now has possession of the car, he will still have to go to small claims court to press any claim for a refund. The police and the DMV are not going to step in and force the money to be returned. The only thing that might happen is that new title may not be issued.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,783

    Default Re: Bought a Car That Won't Pass Smog Seller Refuse to Give Money Back

    well, I was presuming this was not exempt from smog cert due to the relationships listed or the age of the vehicle and I didn't expect the cops to deal with this. I was simply making the point that the seller is liable for obtaining a smog cert.
    As such, if the car will not pass smog, the car cannot legally be sold so OP is entitled to a rescission of the sale.

    I would suspect the courts assistance will be required given what the OP has said about the seller.

    where your post:

    If you believe that he made an enforceable promise that it would pass smog, you can always take him to court (likely small claims) and see if you can convince a court that this was a contract
    Absent that, you may be out of luck and will have to figure out how to get it to pass smog.
    . stated that there had to be some form of agreement the car would pass smog or the OP was basically SOL. From everything I have read concerning the situation, that is just not the case.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,407

    Default Re: Bought a Car That Won't Pass Smog Seller Refuse to Give Money Back

    Well, there are always exceptions to these things and I know of sales where no current smog had been done. For instance, I just purchased a car through a lien sale and I own it. I have to get it to pass smog in order to obtain clear title, but if it does not pass smog I am still stuck with it.

    And the reality is that even if he is in the wrong, enforcing a judgment might be a royal pain or impossible.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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