Attention Potential Used Vehicle Purchasers….

For the past two weeks I have received at least one call per day from consumers who purchased used vehicles that experienced mechanical or other problems after the purchase.  Sometimes the problems occurred within one week while

Check it out....sooner rather than later!

Check it out….sooner rather than later!

others occurred a bit later and the issues varied in nature, severity, and frequency.  In practically every case the consumer had either no warranty (really tough to help on these…) or a vehicle service contract (tough to help on these; click here to read why).  No warranty means “as is” which means the seller is agreeing to accept the vehicle in whatever condition it is in at the time of delivery.  Further, “as is” means that any future issues with the vehicle are the responsibility of the buyer—sorry.

The occasions in which a used vehicle purchaser has a warranty with the seller seem to be few and with good reason.  Used car dealers and sellers typically do not want to be on the hook for the problems the vehicle may experience down the road (excuse the pun).  If the seller can shift the risk of loss and headache to the buyer it is a huge burden lifted.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with this practice as, in fact, it is quite legal.  But per the Federal Trade Commission Used Car Rule, when the seller is a dealer (defined as a person or entity who sells more than five used vehicles in a 12-month period) this burden-shifting of the risk must be done clearly and correctly.  Click here to learn more about how this works.

The older the vehicle the more likely it is that things may go wrong and often a used vehicle seller has little information and documentation of the vehicle’s history.  Surely you can imagine not wanting to be held responsible for problems with a vehicle that you had for a fairly short period of time.  I get it….trust me I do.  So what is a consumer to do….

Do your homework!  Before you purchase any used vehicle you should review my due diligence checklist.  Also feel free to review the O’Neal Law Office Free Information Center for more resources on smart shopping and buying of used vehicles.

NOTE:  If you have purchased a used vehicle and believe you need legal assistance you should do two things before calling me:

Review the used vehicle flow chart

Make sure you have the documents needed to properly review your case




  1. Jeff Acker

    …experience down the road (excuse the pun). If the seller can shift…(another pun!!).


  1. Is This Dealership A House of Horror? | Law and Life Blog

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