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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Run my own practice.
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A young lady financed her first car with a local used car dealer;

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A young lady financed her first car with a local used car dealer; a used Jaguar. She bought it "As is, no warranty" The dealer ensured her it would pass state inspection (it had an expired inspection tag). It failed the emissions test and the check engine light came on soon thereafter. A certified mechanic has been unable to repair it and now tells her it needs a new gas tank as the current one had a hole in it that was repair by screwing a bolt into it. This repair will cost approx. $2000 to $5000. She paid $7000 for the car and has already spent $1500 in repairs after only a week of ownership. Does she have any recourse? Might this qualify as a "lemon" under Texas law? Thanks.

Dimitry Esquire :

Thank you for your question.

Dimitry Esquire :

Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Dimitry Esquire :

Did the dealer assure her in writing that the vehicle would pass inspections?

Dimitry Esquire :

I ask because that could arguably create an implied warranty against the dealer.

Customer:

I sent Betsy a text asking this question although I don't think so. Will get right back to you.

Dimitry Esquire :

Otherwise, by buying 'as is', she can only legitimately claim a potential violation if she can prove that the dealer was aware of the defects and failed to disclose (which would be misrepresentation) or if he knew the vehicle would not pass inspection, as that arguably would be a breach of warranty of being fit for a particular purpose.

Dimitry Esquire :

In essence that argument is that since he is selling a car that he claims can be used on the roads, if the car cannot pass inspection it is no longer fit and his assurances are void.

Dimitry Esquire :

Sure thing, I will wait.

Customer:

She got nothing in writing. She got verbal assurance that the car would pass inspection, however, they would not inspect it in their own shop, so she had to take the car on his word that it would pass. By the way, she paid ~$9000 for it (for accuracy)

Dimitry Esquire :

Was she given an opportunity to take the car to a different mechanic prior to the sale taking place?

Customer:

This was not offered/discussed. She is obviously an inexperience 20 year old buyer. It appears she was taken advantage of.

Dimitry Esquire :

I understand and it sure looks like that may be an issue. But I am trying to understand if they broke the law or provided some options, or if they acted within the bounds of obligation.

Dimitry Esquire :

The fact a dealer failed to inspect and failed to evaluate the car is likely sufficient to claim misrepresentation.

Customer:

OK I see. Any other information or advice? Thanks.

Dimitry Esquire :

One option that this buyer may have is to contact the Texas Attorney General's Office and speak with their consumer protection division.

Dimitry Esquire :

They can investigate and potentially seek recourse on her behalf.

Customer:

OK thanks

Dimitry Esquire :

Before she does so, she also contact the dealer, threaten to go to the Ag's office or else demand they fix the vehicle or provide a refund

Dimitry Esquire :

Hope that helps and if satisfied, please do not forget to positively rate my answers to you. Thank you.

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