Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
What state are you in? How old is the Jeep? How many miles does it have on it? Did you receive a warranty with the purchase? Did you purchase the Jeep from CarMax, or from a Saturn dealer?
Although there is no "cooling off" period, or three day right to rescind a purchase of a car, you may be able to do something about this situation.
There is a Federal Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule that requires a dealer to (1) properly represent the condition of a used vehicle; and (2) properly represent the terms of any warranty offered, if any. Any vehicle offered for sale by a dealer must be clearly marked "AS IS -- NO WARRANTY," if no warranty will be offered. The dealer must also disclose the history of the vehicle if that history would affect the buyer's decision to purchase.
The warranty described above applies only if the consumer buys from a used car dealer. Anyone in the business of selling used cars who sells more than five used cars a year is considered a dealer and is required to get a license from the state. A person who sells more than five used cars a year but does not get a license from the state is still considered a dealer even though unlicensed
Here is a helpful article written by a military attorney on Illinois laws on the purchase of new and used cars: http://www.jag.navy.mil/html/NLSOGlakesLemon_law.htm. Don't call the number at the bottom, though; it is for military members.
Here is information from the Illinois attorney general about purchasing cars: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/used_vehicle.pdf.
At the very least, the dealer should fix the problem. Furthermore, if the dealer did not properly disclose the defect, you may be able to sue the dealer. Contact an attorney in your area for more information. The Illinois Attorney General may be able to help as well.
You aren't venting to the wrong person. I am happy to listen.
Here are some comments to your second post?
QUESTION: The incorrect date of sale; does that matter at all?
DISCUSSION: Probably not; an incorrect date is usually di minimis (in other words, an error but not one that is legally significant).
QUESTION: Aren't these dealers responsible for anything?
DISCUSSION: Only for what is set forth by statutes/laws, and their contract.
QUESTION: I actually own a small retail business, and I can tell you, I'm held to much higher standards than car dealers apparently are. It's no wonder they put shameless pressure on like they do; there's no accountability. Once they get you to sign, their job is done except for collecting the fat commission. No integrity required. I sell flowers, and stand behind a 7-day guarantee. Ironic that the public is more protected in spending $20 for flowers (wilting not allowed, as "acts of God" excuse accountability only for the big money insurance industry), than $30,000.00 for such a major purchase as a vehicle.
DISCUSSION: Thank you for being ethical in your business dealings. Unfortunately, ethics and the law are not always the same. I wish they were.
FACTS: I can't afford an attorney. Contrary to what most people may think, owning a business doesn't necessarily mean you have more money than most, rather, in my case, it means I owe more money than most. So I doubt if the Attorney General could help me because I slip through the cracks.
DISCUSSION: If the Attorney General has jurisdiction (the authority to investigate the complaint), they will do so regardless of your resources, or lack of resources. The Attorney General is acting on behalf of all of the people of Illinois, not just you.
FACTS: Work too hard to be eligible for any government hand-outs, which isn't my goal anyway, but don't make enough to afford the "extras" like an attorney, when I'm ripped off.
DISCUSSION: You can always represent yourself in Court.
CONCLUSION: I now own a $30,000.00 vehicle that I have to keep in out of the rain. I will file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office, for what it's worth. Thanks for the advice and the link. I apologize for venting to the wrong person. You tried to help me, and I appreciate that.
DISCUSSION: I hope you resolve this favorably. Good luck.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).