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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 20357
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs exp with Consumer Law issues
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I bought an SUV from a private seller and as soon as I leave

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I bought an SUV from a private seller and as soon as I leave the seller's property the check engine light turns on!.... Who is responsible for the necessary repairs? The buyer or seller?

Thank you for the information and your question and I am sorry to read about your situation. Unfortunately, the purchase of used vehicles, unless they come with a written guarantee, is considered "as is." That means that the buyer of a used car takes the car as they get it and use great caution in making such a purchase. That also means, that absent that written guarantee of repair, return, etc., the buyer bears the burden of the repairs as soon as they pay their money and take possession of the vehicle.

So, assuming you didn't get a written guarantee the covered what ever this break down related to, you are, unfortunately, the only one responsible for the repairs.

I wish I had better news, and please feel free to ask for clarification if you need it.
Marsha411JD and other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So even if I can't smog it because of the check engine light... I'm responsible for this vehicle?
Yes, unfortunately, it would be an "as is" situation without that written guarantee. That is why it is very important to take any vehicle you are interested in buying to a local mechanic that you trust before you buy it. I understand that is a big hassle, but really the only way to protect yourself in these circumstances. If this guy verbally guaranteed this car was perfect, then you could try to sue him in small claims court for the repairs, but the courts usually side with the seller, since it is an "as is" situation.