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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 29981
Experience:  Lawyer
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I purchased a used vehicle in MA with 131K miles and want to

Customer Question

I purchased a used vehicle in MA with 131K miles and want to return it as it turns out it needs a new transmission.
JA: The Consumer Protection Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No.
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Consumer Protection Lawyer can help you best. Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: I purchased a used car. I scheduled an appointment for an alignment the day after taking possession of the vehicle. The technician informed me that the front differential needed to be replaced. Wanting an opinion from a professional, took the car the my local Subaru dealer and they told me, if I could return the vehicle as they estimated that $3,000 worth of work needed to be done to make the car work properly.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Consumer Protection Lawyer should know?
Customer: Took the car back to the dealer from whom I purchased the car and he called me yesterday and told me that he needed to replace the transmission.
JA: OK. Got it. Last thing - JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Consumer Protection Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

When did you make the purchase? Did you take the car to get inspected yet, and if so, when? What was the purchase price of the vehicle?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I made the purchase on January 30, 2016.
I got the car inspected on February 1, 2016.
I purchased the vehicle for $8999.I do understand because of the mileage that I am not covered under the MA Lemon Aid or Used Car Warranty Law. The dealer has agreed to buy back the car from me, but not for the full purchase price. He will NOT return my deposit. He is proposing that he refund me only $8499. He is claiming that the deposit is non-refundable. I did sign the following:In the event I fail to take delivery of the vehicle purchased by me within forty-eight (48) hours after I have been notified by you that it is ready for delivery and pay the total contract price in the manner indicated, my deposit in the amount of $500 may, at your option, be retained by you to compensate you in whole or in part for any loss sustained by you. Your right to retain my deposit shall be in addition to and not instead of any other right or remedy provided by applicable law including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the sale of the car or truck I agree to purchase. If the amount of my deposit exceeds actual damages sustained by you, you will promptly refund the difference to me.The dealer is claiming that he's already sunk $800 into the car for me, but that work was agreed upon in negotiating the purchase price. He cannot claim that I have caused further damage to the car since taking possession.Can I get my full purchase price of $8999 back?Thank you,Lani Aldrich
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

The Used Vehicle Warranty law doesn't apply to vehicles with over 125,000 miles. However, that's a different statute. The Lemon Aid law has NO mileage limitation. You don't have much time, but if you act right away, you have a right to return the car for a full refund. G. L. c. 90, Section 7N.

What the law says is that, if you get the vehicle inspected within 7 days, and the repairs will cost more than 10% of the purchase price, you have 14 days to return the vehicle to the seller and notify them in writing that you're exercising your rights under the Lemon Aid law. You can agree to let the seller do the repairs, but you don't have to. All you have to do is get him a written statement of the reasons the car failed the inspection. And the disclaimer you signed is of no relevance, because of the Lemon Aid Law.

Here's a plain English explanation of the steps that must be taken - but the 14th day is Saturday, so it's better to take the written statement to the dealer than to try to mail it. It might help to also print out and take the statute with you.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The vehicle DID pass inspection. I believe in order to return the car under the Lemon Aid Law, BOTH State inspection must fail as well as the costs repair cost of 10% of the purchase price so that it will pass inspection. The problem with the car was not something that the inspection would have caught, however it does hamper excessively my ability to drive the car. The reasons regarding returning the vehicle under the Implied Warranty are due to the fact that I purchased a car as an AWD vehicle. The seller sold be the car as an AWD vehicle, however this does not work properly. I just want to know if I am still entitled to the deposit if returning the vehicle under the Implied Warranty of Merchantability.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

The vehicle passed inspection while needing $3,000 worth of work and a new differential? I'm sorry. It sounded like you were saying it failed.

If it actually passed, then there unfortunately isn't a law that would allow you to get back the $500 as well. The sale of a used car is as-is, and since you're not covered under the warranty law or lemon law, the seller doesn't have to take the vehicle back.