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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100944
Experience:  Lawyer
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We bought a used car from an individual. A week later we discovered

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We bought a used car from an individual. A week later we discovered that there was a lot wrong with it and we would have to junk it because it would cost too much to fix. I have been told that I have 30 days to ask for my money back. I have asked for my money back but the individual was not forthcoming with it. What options, if any, do I have?
Thank you for your question.

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How much did you pay for it?

This was from a private person and not a dealer, right?

Did he say it was in good shape?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We paid $3,400 including the tax. Yes, it was a private person. He is an automotive technician, said he had done all the work himself and everything was in good shape. He said he had undercoated it every year but there is a hole in the floor and my mechanic said it had never been undercoated. He also said he had put a new transmission in it but there is coolant in the transmission fluid so there is a leak someplace. The ball joints are gone, the brakes need work and when I called him to tell him the stuff that was wrong with it, he said he had no idea that all this stuff was wrong and he was not trying to rip me off.

He sounds like he is dishonest.

I could sell you my old car and tell you to get an inspection and say I have no idea if there is anything wrong with it. Then if you decide not to get the inspection and there are things wrong with it that you find after you buy the car then in most cases I would not lose in court so long as it was clear I didn't lie.

But this is a different story. First, he is an automotive technician. So he is an expert.

Second, he said he did all the work for the car.

Third he lied about the undercoat.

There is no law about thirty days to return the car. You can return the car as you clearly did not get what you paid for.

The law is that when you purchase used vehicle you had the right to inspect the car for defects. And the law can be summed up by the well known phrase "buyer beware." The legal phrase for this is the Latin phrase caveat emptor.

However, at the same time the seller of this used car is not permitted to misrepresent, fail to disclose or actively try to hide defects.

As well the vendor has a duty to disclose a latent defect if it's substantial. It would also include the situation where the cost to repair is going to be substantial as well.

I suggest you tell this guy you want a full refund at once and if he will not comply you will sue him.

Then send him a letter by Registered Mail setting out the facts and giving him a deadline to reimburse you.

Tell him if he fails to comply you will then sue him for the full refund, damages and your costs.

You can sue him in Small Claims Court and can self-represent.

If it gets that far and you find you need some help as you go through the process you can always post on this site again and I can assist you further.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
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