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Steinlaw
Steinlaw, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Consumer law attorney, author of California Debt Blog, Businessweek.com top foreclosure attorney
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9 months ago, my wife and I bought a used Subaru from a trusted

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9 months ago, my wife and I bought a used Subaru from a trusted friend. Her brother, acting as her selling agent, represented himself as a Subaru mechanic and assured me and my wife the engine was recently replaced professionally by him. The car died a couple of days ago, and guess what- it needs a new engine. The brother now claims he did not replace the engine himself, mechanics at the dealership he works for did, and since I bought the car from his sister, it is not his problem anyway. I am asking the seller, his sister, to meet me half-way by refunding half the sell price so we can replace the engine, and she is refusing. Do I have a case for small claims based on lying at the time of sale? My wife and I are both witnesses to the lie.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Steinlaw replied 3 years ago.
Why did the engine fail?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The mechanic who currently has the vehicle has tested the engine and has determined it has lost all compression, due to a catastrophic internal failure, such as a thrown rod. In all his considerable time as a mechanic, working on Subarus regularly, he has never seen this happen, so he isn't quite sure yet. When asking the 'master mechanic' a few simple questions about work done, the 'master mechanic' wasn't able to answer my mechanic properly, and exposed himself as simply someone who works on cars. His defense was to suggest it may have been a 'bad' engine when put in.
Expert:  Steinlaw replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry you are going through this.

Generally, a car is sold as is. That means as the buyer you are responsible for getting it inspected. Thus, the seller has no liability.

However if you can prove that he lied to you, you can sue him for fraud. You sue her as a co-conspirator. That would do the trick in getting you around this problem.

However, you need to make sure you know the cause of the failure. If a new engine was put in and it really was just a bad new engine, you would probably lose. If you can prove that they did something wrong in the installation, then you would have a good case.

Good luck!
Steinlaw, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience: Consumer law attorney, author of California Debt Blog, Businessweek.com top foreclosure attorney
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