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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 118238
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I bought a 4x4 truck from a used car lot, as is, but was

Customer Question

I bought a 4x4 truck from a used car lot, as is, but was assured by the owner it was a good running vehicle. He said had driven it for over 1000miles.
Right after taking it home I found the transmission made horrible noises and returned within an hour of leaving the lot.
The owner became very hostile and repeated the deal was "as is".
He took the car into the shop and said it needed front drivetrain work.
I felt cornered that he should be the one to fix it since he sold the vehicle, and he said he would do the job for a reasonable price. I signed a repair order for up to $900 work that afternoon and he said it was a 3 day job, he would start the next day. After talking to my wife I returned to the shop when it opened the next day to cancel the work and take it home again as is.
The dealer said he had started the work and I would have to pay his time to put it back together. He said to come back at the end of the day, but I am sure he is lying and did not do any work yet. He was irate at my questions and he would not let me in the back to see the truck. If I forced the situation I am sure he would throw me out and bill me even more for his "supposed work". I am resigned to pay a portion of the bill to just get possession back and cut my loses. Any advice? I know I made mistakes but he guy was great up until he got my cash. I feel foolish already for not being more careful, I was conned.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In the state of Florida.
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.

In general, an as is sale places the risk of hidden defects on the buyer, not the seller. The courts use the phrase "caveat emptor" or "buyer beware" when discussing the as is sale. The buyer is expected to drive the car and inspect the car reasonably before they purchase the car.

However, even in an as is sale, there are some implied warranties under common law. First, the implied warranty of merchantability, which states when the seller knew or should reasonably have known that the vehicle was not fit for its intended purposes. In this instance, you have evidence this was an existing problem and he had to reasonably know it existed. Second, the implied warranty of good faith, which also states where the seller knew or should have known that the vehicle had defects and misrepresented them when asked or concealed them.

Under the two common law warranties, those would be your basis to sue the seller to recover the costs of repair or to cancel the sale and recover your purchase price. If he refuses to pay for the work or work out some deal with you, then you have grounds to file suit against the seller for your damages.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have found this dealer to be unethical now that I have tried to resolve issues.
Maybe I will sue him for repairs I have done by another shop that I trust.
As another avenue, he has a rotweiler dog in the office that bit me when I entered alone.
I went in the office to retrieve my supplies while the truck was getting prepared on sale day.
The owner asked what I did to provoke his dog, as if it were my fault, he showed no concern.
It was not a deep bite but the dog punctured my pants and skin with his teeth.
Would this be a strong case to go after him instead of suing for the truck repair?
Thanks.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You also should consider filing a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit and also the State DMV Dealer Licensing unit as they also investigate and handle these complaints. That should be your first step, because many times they can resolve the issue without a lawsuit.

As far as the dog bite, he is strictly liable for the bite and all injuries and you also need to report the bite to animal control. That is all a separate issue from the car issue. But this is a basis for a separate suit against the dealer in addition to the suit against him for the breach of the implied warranties and unfair and deceptive business practices (for which you can get triple damages and attorney's fees).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry but I have already spent too much on this truck and repair.
I will just take your initial advice for now to hold my costs down,
this is already draining me financially.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

All we can do is present your options, so you are free to take any of those options mentioned, we just present them to you.