CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Help, dealer sold me a car that can't pass inspection!

You mean there are still buyers out there who don’t know that some dealers are a little sleazy ? I consider all dealers to be a little sleazy (either on purpose or by being uninformed), until proven otherwise.

I take that attitude also. If you take a look at buyer protection laws…they weren’t just arbitrary written for the sake of it. They were ALL written to address a problem at the time. Personally I think we may have gone overboard in some areas…and no where near enough in others. I know I wouldn’t have bought that vehicle. But if the dealer had any morality at all…he/she wouldn’t be trying to unload it. They probably made a mistake buying it and now want to get rid of it…and they don’t care one bit if the vehicle is safe.

The PA law did say that it the new owner only has 72 hours to determine if the vehicle is road worthy. If not then too bad…you’re stuck with it.

The last time I saw a quality used car for less than $2,000 was in 1987, and that was a 1969 Dodge Dart.

Ha, it is possible to get a quality used car for under $2,000, but it is probably still a Dodge Dart.

Nosedansus:

Please specify the exact date of purchase.
Was the “check engine” light or any other warnings illuminated when you bought it ?
Are any illuminated, now ?

Tell us a little about your conversation concerning this vehicle prior to your purchase. Were you lied to in any way ?

CSA

I bought it from a place that just resells cars they buy at auction. They don’t inspect the cars or even empty the ashtrays. All their cars are as-is. I have no explanation as to why I bought this heap without having it checked out. It’s unlike me to do such a thing, but it’s tough to find a low mileage 4x4 stick shift, so I think I just got over excited about my “luck” in finding one. Also, the rust holes let some exhaust in, so I may have been slightly addled after the test drive without realizing it. Anyway, I’m going to at least try to get them to work out something else, like maybe a different heap. Worse comes to worse, I sell it to some guy on craigslist that’s dumber than me.

Have you looked into getting it fixed??? You don’t have to replace the whole floor pan. Just the parts that’s rusted.

Worse comes to worse, I sell it to some guy on craigslist that’s dumber than me.

Sorry but we part company. You made the mistake and you should take care of it, not try to sell it to someone else. 45 years ago I had a Morris Minor that I had reached the end of my budget on. I sold it, but I told the buyer everything that I knew was still wrong with the car. That was the only time I sold a car not in good working order and I don’t ever intend to unload my misfortune on somebody else.

The only saving grace is that you could be out just $1300. In this day and age, it’s less then a dealers 60k check up and an education course on “how to be taken advantage of by a dealer when you expect to buy a car for that little money to begin with.”

(Formerly Known as “ClassicFan62”) Seems to me if Philadelphia has a Lemon Law for used cars, and should, take the sleazeball dealer to court, and if the judge is reputable, this dealer should receive a court order to fix the car. You may even be able to press criminal charges against this dealer for selling a car that is not roadworthy and therefore dangerous to drive. I DO recommend you get a mechanic to do an inspection next time, though; saves a lot of aggravation.

In Pennsylvania there is no lemon law for used cars.

Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), 73 P.S’ $ 201-I -2419.3, protects consumers from a variety of potential harms. Automotive Industry Trade Practices Regulations,3T PA CODE Ch. 301 issued under the UTPCPL, were put in place to protect
Consumers from being misled about the quality of the vehicle they purchase.

You can contact the Attorney General, but they will tell you they cannot compel a business to give you the money you paid back, nor can they represent you. So you’d have to sue the dealership in a magistrate court. You have rights even if the vehicle was sold as-is. In the state of Pennsylvania a vehicle is prohibited from being sold if it’s not “roadworthy”.

The Auto Regulations in the Commonwealth of PA explain that a motor vehicle offered for sale in the Commonwealth is represented to be roadworthy and the advertiser or seller shall disclose, prior to sale, specific conditions the advertiser or seller knows or should know exist in the vehicle. Issues that should be disclosed include whether the frame is bent, cracked or twisted; whether the engine block or head is cracked; whether the vehicle is unable to pass state inspection; whether the transmission is damaged, defective or deteriorated requiring replacement; whether the vehicle is flood damaged; or whether the differential is damaged, defective or deteriorated requiring replacement. Sellers who fail to disclose these conditions misrepresent to the buyer the quality of the vehicle.

You responded to a thread that is 7 years old. I think the parties are gone by now

Yes but people like me looking for help just saw the thread and others after me can benefit.

2 Likes

If only that was a fact. If it was we would not have so many posts asking - what kind of oil should I use - what kind of wipers should I use - how often should I change oil and filter and so on.

2 Likes

I was surprised though at the amount of misinformation that poor guy received. Probably dealership employees spreading false misrepresentations.

Adding new information to old threads is always welcome.

3 Likes

@Lloyd_Anthony thank you for coming by to add this information. +1 to @JoeMario.

4 Likes

Yes, but you don’t know how many people google, see what was written, and then never ask.

5 Likes

The city of Philadelphia has different laws…I’m pretty sure the law that Mike mentioned 7 years about having 72 hours to have a used car pass inspection is still valid.

City of murder and brotherly love? Yeah I think the OP is long gone but not forgotten. My comment from years ago still stands.

No CSA. It is not just you but be careful. I was once flagged for addressing that subject.