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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Experienced in general consumer protection law
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If I bought a used car 1998 honda civic from a private seller

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If I bought a used car 1998 honda civic from a private seller in the state of NJ on 6/4 for $2200.00 and he informed that the car was in good condition and listed in his ad that he had hundreds on dollars of maintenace put into the car in the last month and insured me his mechanic looked over the car and the engine and trans was good but i now need $3000 of repairs just to pass NJ state inspections including a new motor and trans, he states he was not aware of these issues yet the temp gauge and speed-o-meter does not work. I also learned today that his brother in law works is a mechanic at the shop he states he brought the car to. Also he purchased the car on 4/21 and posted it for sale on 4/25. I do have evidence of repairs needed and repair estimates. I asked him to refund my money and take the car back and he stated he would not do that Can i take this to small claims court?


Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.


Yes, you could. If he represented the motor and transmission were good and they were not (and they obviously were not as you now know a replacement is needed), then you could sue him in small claims court to invalidate the contract on the basis of fraud.

Customer: He did not list in the ad of the motor or trans being good but did orally insure myself and fiance of this. Will this hold up in court

Yes, the oral representation is sufficient - the ad was not the contract.

Customer: I found prof of his brother in law working at the shop in fb photo I printed along with the text message from the seller stating that was the mechanic used. Is this significant enough evidence to prove that he was aware of these issues and that is why he placed the car for sale 3 days after he purchased it?
Customer: Also he failed to inspect the vehicle while he owned it from 4/21-6/4 - could this be held against him in court?

The fact that his brother was a mechanic there really isn't that relevant except that it might tend to prove he was given more service than someone else. As such, it is even more likely he was aware of the problems. However, even without the relation, just showing that the vehicle was inspected by a mechanic would generally be enough to prove he had knowledge.


His failure to inspect really is irrelevant

Customer: My mechanic ran a diagnostics showing 5 codes that the car would not pass, my thought is he had the same done on his car. What evidence should I bring to court with me?

Anything that shows he was aware of problems that show he lied when he indicated the car was in good condition.

Customer: I have the text stating he brought it to a mechanic and his ad stating he had maintenance done on the car. would this be enough to prove my case.

Yes, along with you representing what he stated to you verbally


Even with your proof there is no guarantee you'll win your case, but you have a good case. It will come down to whether he denies the statements, whether the judge believes you over him, and whether the judge ultimately determines that such is sufficient

Customer: Would I be able to bring my mechanic as a witness, is that a good idea

You could -- that would tend to show that the inspection by his brother would have revealed the issues so that he was aware of them

Customer: there was also a standard motor installed in this vehicle and the car is a v-tech so the v-tech system is failing acting as is there is no engine in the car

That's really an unrelated issue unless he said installation was proper and fine. If he didn't make that representation then it's an issue the court will deem you could have discovered yourself so that he cannot be held liable.

Customer: he stated it was installed by a previous owner and the mechanic insured him it was ok and there was no issue with it.

Then it is also relevant

Customer: Ok Thanks so much for your time. If I need more assistance I can contact you back on this site? With additional payment.

Yes, just let me know. In that case, though, it's best to post a new question rather than continue in this thread. You can address it to me: "To TMcJD only ..." I would be grateful if you could please leave me a positive rating. I cannot receive credit for my work without your positive rating and that is the sole means of compensation for JustAnswer experts. Thanks.

Customer: I will definetely rate you.
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