HI, Tami, My name is ***** ***** my goal is to provide you with Excellent Service,
I am sorry to hear of the experience you had with this seller,
As a general rule, the lemon laws do not offer protection to buyers of used vehicles and the legal principle of "Caveat Emptor" (Let the buyer beware) applies with a few exceptions. The law imposes on us the obligation to have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic of our own choosing before we sign an Agreement of Sale and before paying over our hard earned money.
An exception to this rule is where the seller (whether a dealer or a private seller) engages in fraud, then the buyer has recourse against the seller in demanding a full refund and returning the vehicle. Your situation somewhat falls within this category. I say "somewhat" because although there is no question, but that the seller was making every attempt to defraud you out of your money and sell you and your boyfriend a vehicle which had quite a few defects, the fact that the seller always had an excuse for not permitting you to test drive it or to test the convertible top might have made the average person suspicious about the true condition of the vehicle.
If I were in your position, I would not let this guy get away with anything. I would first go back to him and tell him you were leaving the vehicle with him and demand a refund in full. When he refused to give me a full refund (which, of course, he will) I would tell him that not only would I file a lawsuit against him for a refund, but I would ask the Judge to award me punitive damages because of his intention to defraud me. Lastly, I would tell him that I was going to report him to the California State Attorney General's Office for prosecution and revocation of his license to do business in California.
Punitive damages are usually three times ordinary damages. So, if your ordinary damages are the price of the vehicle of $3,150, punitive damages would be $9,450, so that your total recovery would be $12, 600 [$3,150 + ($3,150 x 3 = $9,450) = $12,600.
California Attorney General - http://oag.ca.gov/consumers
And if the seller does not have a dealer's license to sell vehicles, he will be in even deeper trouble.
I would then immediately file a lawsuit against the seller in Small Claims Court in the County where the transaction took place. The jurisdictional maximum of the Small Claims Court is not exceeded because the maximum is determined without the addition of other damages, Court costs, and other fees incurred as a result of having to file a lawsuit against a Defendant.
I wish you the best of luck,
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