California residents who buy a used car may have the ability to file a lawsuit if the vehicle is defective. The exact rights a person has depends on whether the car was bought at a dealer or from an individual and if there was a warranty on the vehicle. If there is a warranty on the vehicle that isn’t honored, a car owner may be entitled to compensation for money spent on repairs.
It is important to note that a vehicle may be sold “as-is”, which means that there is no implied or specific guarantee as to its condition. A lawsuit may also be effective if there is evidence of fraud or if a dealerfailed to disclose issues related to a used car. Fraud may occur if the odometer is rolled back or if damage to the body or frame are deliberately disguised.
In some cases, an individual may be given the option to return the vehicle. If a dealer refuses to take the car back in the time period stated in the guarantee, it could be grounds for a lawsuit. Buyers should also look over other terms in the contract to see if a dealer has held its end of the bargain. If not, a buyer could pursue a breach of contract claim.
Buyers who acquire a new vehicle with a potentially dangerous defect that cannot be repaired may wish to speak with an attorney. An attorney may be able to talk more about the state’s lemon law and how it may apply in a given case. If a lemon law claim is successful, an individual may be entitled to compensation equal to the cost of the car and other damages. It may also be possible to receive a new vehicle from the manufacturer.