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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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My son who is 17 bought a car without out my permission. When

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My son who is 17 bought a car without out my permission. When I approached the seller he was not willing to pay him back so my son kept the car. A month latter the car had an electrical fire. and the repairs will cost more than the car is worth. Is there a legal recourse for tis?

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to assist you in any way that I can



1. How much money was paid so far on the car ?



2. Was the car defective in any way and the seller did not disclose the defect to your son ?


3. What caused the electrical fire in the car ?



Thank you,




Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. $2500

2. They had installed large wheels and another mechanic told us how unsafe this was after the fact.


3. The mechanic could not determine the cause of the fire only that the wiring harness was completely destroyed by the fire.

Hi, Nora, thank you for your reply,


You stated, "They installed large wheels.........." Who is "They"

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The owner of a tire shop puts cars for sale outside his business. To attract the younger crowd, he installs the large mag wheels.

Thank you again for your reply,


1. Did the seller ask to have these large wheels placed on the car ?




2. Didyour son ask the owner of the tire shop to install the wheels on his car ?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The wheels were already on the car when my son first saw it. He was on his lunch break from school. After school, he went to the bank and withdrew his savings and bought the car without letting me know.


In this case the owner of the tire shop is the seller. He puts those large wheels on junkers to appeal to the young kids. He is still doing it.

Dear Nora, Thank you once again for your reply,


You asked,


"A month latter the car had an electrical fire. and the repairs will cost more than the car is worth. Is there a legal recourse for tis? "




The law states that anyone under the age of 18 is still a minor and, therefore, does not have the legal capacity to enter a binding contract because the other party to the contract cannot bring any lawsuit against the minor to enforce the contract. So, when you went to the seller and asked that he refund the $2,500 to your son, he was legally obligated to refund the money whether he wanted to or not, and whether he liked it or not. If he refused, you could have filed a lawsuit against the seller in Small Claims Court and the Judge would have set the contract aside and declared in null and void and of no further legal effect and the Judge would have Ordered the seller to return the $2,500 in full to your son.


You could have filed a lawsuit against the seller at any time until your son reached the age of 18. However, this did not happen here. Your son insisted on keeping the car. But, even if this were so, you still could have filed a lawsuit against the seller for the refund until your son reached the age of 18. But, because of the intervening accident and the destruction of the car while in the possession of your son, there is no car to return to the seller and a demand for a refund can no longer be made on him.


However, if there was a defect in the car's electrical system and it was this defect that caused the fire, you can file a lawsuit against the seller for a refund because he is charged with knowledge of the condition of the car he is selling. If it is determined that for some reason, the large wheels on the vehicle that the seller installed may have had some connection with the electrical system of the car, then the seller can be held liable. Or, if the wheels were not properly installed and they triggered something in the electrical system of the car, again you would be looking place liability on the seller. But, in order to hold the seller liable, the cause of the electrical fire must first be determined.


If the car was insured, you can put a claim in through your insurance company.


If the car was not insured for such a casualty, then the only other option you have is to pursue the seller/owner of the tire store. Presumably, he is an expert on tires and he knows which tires can be installed without any danger on particular cars.


These are the only options you have; I wish I could offer you more options, but there are none. The first thing you would have to do is to take the car to a very experiences mechanic who could determine and confirm the exact cause of the electrical fire. Only then would you be able to confidently assign liability.


I realize that this is not the Answer you wanted to hear, but it is not a simple black and white area. There are many people involved. But, I have an ethical obligation to you to give only correct Answers, and not lead you down the wrong path, so I am respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you not hold the law applicable to your situation against me because when rating me, you are rating the service I have given you and not whether you like or agree with the law applicable to your situation,


Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding,



If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, Please rate a 10 as it gives me a greater opportunity to assist other customers on this website and is greatly appreciated,



Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,






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