If I sell a car that is damaged, and the buyer gets hurt when the car falls apart, am I liable?

The right side of my 2000 Mazda Protege was hit by a car 13 months ago. I never got the dent fixed. The car drives fine. If I sell the car, will I be liable if the car frame falls apart during a drive and hurts the new owner of the car? Or will the owner be liable because he knew he was buying a damaged car?

Generally, used cars sold by an individual are sold as is, with no implied warranty.

malraux, what I am worried about is a lawyer suing me in the future for selling a potentially dangerous car.

Just put it in writing; car being sold as is/where is, you can add known damages. I was once selling a car that was burning oil real bad and would not pass smog. Put it in writing and had the buyer sign it.

Even with an as-is, you could see some litigious fool sue. If it’s damage which is CLEARLY visible, the new owner also assumes the risk. They can try to sue, but you can say it was clearly visible and any reasonable individual would realize they should either get it fixed on an as-is purchase or assume the risk for any issues if not.

Plain and simple, always sell a car as-is, unless it’s new and under warranty. Even if under warranty, I still disclaim all responsibility on the bill of sale. Keep a signed copy for your records and you’re fine.

You can be sued for anything at any time, that doesn’t mean the plaintiff will win or that you are liable. Your homeowners or renters insurance probably includes some personal liability coverage that would provide you with a defense.

Private party sales are “as is.” The most important thing is, don’t make any promises and don’t put any claims about the car’s condition in writing. You don’t have to volunteer negative information, but answer any direct questions honestly.

And if you are really worried, sell to a dealer for less money.

But in an “as is” sale you make no claim even implicitly about the car. Dealers typically have a higher level of implied warranty but that just means that a used car must run and drive, more or less.

Selling as a person as is means you don’t have liability.

Mike, the damage is obvious and the buyer is buying the car “as is”. As long as you give the buyer a reasonable opportunity to look the car over prior to purchasing it and you don’t misrepresent any information then you are off the hook.

Some buyers have better lawyers, many posts we see here I bought this car a month ago and… I am surprised at how many are willing to do major repairs instead of taking it back and saying you sold me a piece of garbage. I have traded in cars I knew there would be buyers remorse for, but in all honesty it is the buyers responsibility to check out a car when sold as is, I concur with previous posts.

The damage you show in the pic is nothing to worry about. The car is not going to fall part from that big dent. Just sell it as is. You mite go to a used car lot and ask for a as is / no warranty form. I had friends in the used car business and I would get these forms for when I sold a car.

Thanks guys!

Since laws vary from one place to another, you really need to contact a local attorney. 

Frankly I would expect to find that anyone who bought the car with that kind of visible damage, would have a hard time trying to tell a judge that he did not notice that damage.

Used car sales are such a big problem that many states have laws specifically dealing with used car sales that specifically make all iused car sales “as-is” unless otherwise specified in writing. Writing “as-is with no warrantys or guearantees either expressed or implied” doesn’t hurt either. That makes it clear that the buyer knows it’s as-is beyond question.