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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 111526
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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What does the law say about buying a used Harley Davidson,

Customer Question

What does the law say about buying a used Harley Davidson, 2003, with 40,000 + miles. After I paid $2000 down and financed the balance, I drove it for about 8 days. The fuel gauge stopped working and the Tachometer never did work. What are my rights?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under WA law, the purchase of a used item is considered to be "as is" unless you received a written warranty to the contrary. In an "as is" sale, the WA courts state that the liability for hidden defects is on the buyer and use the term "caveat emptor" or "buyer beware." It is the duty of the buyer in all used purchases to inspect the item for defects prior to purchase.
There are some implied warranties that apply under common law in WA, but it is for hidden defects (the tachometer is something that would be seen by a buyer on a reasonable inspection had it been conducted and if you told them it was not working at time of purchase they are liable for that repair, which is why they are agreeing to pay for that). Unfortunately though, on used items things break from ordinary wear and tear and without warning, so unless you had a warranty or you can prove the fuel gauge was broken when you purchased it, the seller is not liable if it broke 8 days after the purchase unless they choose to do so out of goodwill (which is up to the dealer and a good dealer will likely agree to do so or to split the costs).
The common law warranties are the implied warranty of merchantability and implied warranty of good faith. In both warranties, you have to prove the seller knew of the defect at the time of the sale in order to hold them liable for repairs (so the tachometer you can prove they knew about because it did not work from day one, but the fuel gauge is another matter because it stopped working after 8 days).

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