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My car is crap!

okay i bought a 1997 volvo and 3 weeks later fluids starts to leak from the bottom and eventually it started to hesitate going back and forwards,until eventually it wouldnt move i called the dealer i boght it from and told them what was going on they said to get it to them on thursday (it was Monday) thursday i couldnt reverse to get it to them so finaaly they came and picked it up . I assumed they took back to there shop but with no permission from me took it to a repair shop which made no sense because they had their own shop.the guy stated it was the transmission and he told me that he was repairing it and the dealer was gonna eat the price to have it fix but i found out later he was trying to go through my warranty ,mind you without my permission.which i found out later was the dealers brother .the warranty agent stated that this dealer has a history of submitting fraudulent claims . i picked up the car immediately ,and took it to my mechanic who fixed over $1078 in repairs and again the arrows came back .then as we were talking he noticed the inspection sticker said march ,but i just got the car in august he stated that since he’s a liscenced dealer he was suppose to have the car inspected before turning it over to me. second the odometer hasnt moved since i got it it has been saying 89,610 my question what should i do …go back to the dealer ,get a lawyer …im confused and stressed!!

Call your state Atturney General’s Office of Consumer Protection. File a formal complaint. Since he did not comply with your state laws rearding inspection, and it’s likely he altered the speedo reading (the AG’s office will want to have that checked), you may be able to get the transaction rescinded and get your money back, perhaps even the $1078 you spent trying to get it fixed.

File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau too, but don’t expect them to help. My experience is that they really have very little authority…or perhaps just do very little.


Good Luck…

Your goal should be to get a full refund from the dealer and that includes any money you spent on repairs. The fraud is that the odometer isn’t working so any statements that they made as to the car’s mileage were false. On that basis I think you have a case for a refund. It is cheaper for them to take the car back and refund your money than deal with the authorities on fraud issues.

If you successfully return the car for a refund, then next time stay away from old Volvos. They are nothing but trouble.

Go through the paperwork you received when you bought the car.
If you have a copy of an “AS IS” disclaimer with your signature then the car and all of the associated problems are yours.

You have to bear some responsibility here too. The car was leaking and quoting you: “eventually it started to hesitate going back and forwards.,” until “eventually it wouldn’t move”.
This constitutes abuse on your part and the dealer should not pay one dime of this.

You bought a 13 year old vehicle that was not leaking when you bought it. The leaks started 3 weeks later according to you and any aged car can develop one or more problems at any time.

Any contract not in compliance with state or federal laws is automatically null and void. In this case it sounds like the transaction component that fulfilled the contract’s obligation not only was in noncompliance with state requirements, making the contract not legally fulfilled, but there seems also to be evidence of fraud, as well as possible violation of the requirements for nontampering of the odometer, which may also be a criminal violation.

Had the contract and the transaction been fully in compliance and there not been possible fraud and criminal violation, I’d agree that the deal is likely as-is.

I agree that the buyer made msitakes in buying the vehicle, however in my mind a country boy that takes a shortcut through a city alley bears no responsibility for getting mugged there. The mugger is solely responsible.

I’d be more inclined to avoid the dealership than a used Volvo.

tiffy2000, please tell us the name(and location) of the dealership you bought this from, so we all may avoid this place.

The problem with the odometer issue though is that a non-working odometer is not a sign of anything illegal. An odometer is subject to fail at any time and the OP states the odometer has not moved since they purchased the car.
The OP should have tried to resolve this on the day they bought it; not after the fact.

The “AS IS” disclaimer I mention is part of a Federal requirement that was enacted some decades back so I doubt anything is going to supersede that.

I’m betting the AG’s office will want it inspected for evidence of tampering.

Any contract the does not meet legal requirements fed or state is not binding. And I could be wrong, but I believe the As-Is is a state law rather than federal.

The OP could certainly go that route but the big question would be IF the odometer were tampered with and if it was, how could the OP prove the dealer did it?
A non-working odometer is not a violation of the law and the older SAABs (especially the 900s) were prone to odometer problems. Heck, I’ve got 4 or 5 900 instrument clusters in which everything on them works except the odometers and/or tripmeters. They were very problematic and since a Volvo is the Swedish Meatball cousin of a SAAB… :slight_smile:

I don’t remember the details behind the AS IS window stickers but it seems like this popped up back in the early/mid 80s and was pushed through by auto dealer lobbying groups due to many people buying used cars and then expecting the world be given to them when any problem developed.

It would help if the OP would fill in a few blanks about whether they have several pieces of paper.
One is the AS IS disclaimer that is posted in the window and MUST be signed by th e purchaser at the point of sale and the other is an odometer statement. The latter must also be signed by the dealer and purchaser and this usually states the buyer is taking the car mileage as is with the dealer end of it stating “as far as I know”, which is a murky area.

In OK the way it works is that a dealer can flat lie through their teeth in regards to 2 dozen things on a car and if the buyer signs that AS IS paper the car belongs to them even if the dealer then turns right around and admits they blatantly lied.
It all boils down to Caveat Emptor.

Volvos of that vintage have a notorious odometer failure rate. They use plastic gears in the odometer that get brittle and teeth break off. I fixed this on my daughter’s Volvo and there were a lot of people on the Volvo forum who had the same problem and there is even a guy who specializes in making replacement gears. So, the non-working odometer may not be anything the dealer did. As for the other stuff, sounds like he was trying to give his brother some work that would be paid for by his warranty company. I assume this is not a Volvo warranty, but some used car warranty from an insurance company.

So, my question would be, “do you like the car?” Do you want to keep it? Do you want to get your money back? If you still want the car, now that it’s been fixed, you might just avoid the dealer from now on and get the odometer fixed if it’s important to you. If you want to get rid of the car and get your money back, you may need a lawyer or your state’s Attorney General’s office to intervene, but I’d just try asking the dealer first. He won’t go for it, but you should at least ask.

The law in NH is also that all used car sales are “as-is” unless otherwise stated in writing. However, for the sale to be valid state and federal requirements have to be complied with. Noncompliance with state or federal laws or regulations (or actual hard evidence of fraud or criminal actions or intent) invalidates the sale, just as is does all other contracts.

The salesman can lie through his teeth, but there are laws that need to be complied with. Sometimes the seller’s failure to have comply with a regulatory requirement or fulfill a contractual obligation can be cause to have the contract rescinded.

I figure it’s worth trying. It sounds to me like the buyer’s innocence was exploited.

Just to add to Ranck’s post about odometer problems.

This entire thing still sounds like a debacle in regards to the transmission problems developing, the hazy warranty issues, etc and it would be very interesting to see what kind of warranty is involved on a 12 year old car.

As they say, the devil is always in the details. For a grand it’s not likely that a transmission rebuild was performed and the repair simply involved curing fluid leaks. If the trans started leaking 3 weeks after the OP bought the car I fail to see how that is the dealer’s fault because a 12 year old seal for anything and on anything is prone to leaking at any time.

The federal odometer law says that any car 10 years or more old is exempt from odometer requirements. In other words if the odo isn’t working on a '97, it’s not required to. Newly reissued titles on those cars say “EXEMPT” by the mileage shown in my state.