How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask BizMatters-law Your Own Question
BizMatters-law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1132
Experience:  JD
Type Your Legal Question Here...
BizMatters-law is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is it illegal for a car dealer to sell a used car without a

This answer was rated:

Is it illegal for a car dealer to sell a used car without a catalytic converter on it in TN?

Dear skayd,


What year of manufacture and model is the car?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
1998 Grand Prix GTP

Dear Skayd,


Thanks for the additional information. Since the catgalytic converter is original equipment and the car was manufactured after 1996, then it has to have the converter.


The law about this is a Federal EPA law that states that a vehicle can not be sold with a tampered emission system.


It is possilbe they were not aware of it. Becuase the converters contain precious metals, they are highly sought after by thieves.


If they knew about it, they may have been confuses about the law that states you can not reattach or replace converters. (becuase of the precious metals). Many are unaware that actually a car that has had the converter stolen or missing, can have a new converter placed on it.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
They had to know it wasn't on there, they took it to be inspected before they could get us tags for it. It is illegal in TN not to have a converter on your car. It will not pass inspection without one, so what I am saying is, since they HAD to know, otherwise it wouldn't have passed, am I able to sue them for selling me a car without a catalytic converter on it when it is illegal to even have a car without one on it? That is what I want to know. How can they be allowed to sell me a car that should have never passed inspection? There is nothing there, just a straight pipe where the converter should have been, so it was taken off of the car at some point. I have pictures of underneath the car.

I agree that they should have known. I know it sounds presumptions, but I do not presume they actually knew. The owners and management have a duty to know, but they generally delegate things to sales and service people who themselves often do things that jeopardize a company's standing.


Whether the "dealership" knew or not, they had a duty to know and to supervise the process; controls needed to be in place. Hence you do, in my opinion, have a cause of action to pursue in court.


The issue is what will you be suing for? what are your damages?


It is illegal to drive a car in TENN that does not have a catalytic converter if it is manufactured after 1996; or is otherwise original equipment.


So for example, damages are:


1. The cost of purchasing and installing a converter. (you can sue them to force them to provide and install the converter, or to pay you to get it done, for example).


2. If you received traffic situations and fines for driving without one, the it is reasonable that a common person may not know about catalytic converters, and there for you could recover in some instance fines and penalties including a converter and installation.


3. You can sue them to void the sales contract and force them to take the car back and reimburse your money.


4. Since this is a violation of the law, you can turn them in to the EPA who will investigate and if called for, fine them.



You asked why or how. This is a question most people ask but are unwilling to hear the answer.


I am not making exucses for the dealership. AGAIN, as I already related, many people, including dealerships are confused about the law. IN one part of the law, it states they can not reinstall a catalytic converter. In another part of the law it says there are circumstances where they are allowed to. I am not making the argument that they are excused.


If you sue them, the court will want to know if you gave them an opportunity to fix it. So you should at least make one attempt to get them to put a converter on it.

BizMatters-law and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you