Revoking Acceptance of a recently purchased car?

ford

#1

I recently bought a car on the condition some things would be replaced. The paperwork is a “we owe” agreement.

The first time they said it was fixed, an LED tail light was not working when I went to pick up the car. 2+ hours wasted. They said they would keep me updated on the status. I bought the car a week ago and technically cannot drive it home because I could be pulled over and ticketed for the defective equipment, although they seem to really want me to drive it home and erroneously told me it is legal. As I’ve been waiting for them to fix it, the used car warranty is also ticking away in the meantime and I’m getting uneasy because I don’t know how much longer it will really take.

As I understand it, the usual 3-day “cool off” period does not apply to cars sold from a permanent physical location.

However, I’ve also read about “Revocation of Acceptance” which provides that a consumer can return goods, including a car, if it is discovered within a short time after purchase that the goods were misrepresented or if a flaw was discovered that significantly diminishes the value of the goods in the buyer’s eyes, and the seller does not remedy the problem within a certain amount of time. This revocation right supposedly even supersedes any disclaimers and as-is agreements that were signed at the time of purchase.

What I’m wondering is, has anyone used revocation of acceptance, and what is a reasonable time period before invoking it? Is 1 week enough? It will supposedly be fixed soon, but I want to be able to set a date and if it is not fixed by that time, communicate to them that I am revoking acceptance.

And on the flip side, if it IS fixed by the date they have now told me, is there anything I should reasonably be able to request or demand upon finally being able to take possession of the vehicle? At the very least, I’m thinking a full tank of gas for my trouble and an extension to the warranty to make up for the time between the purchase date and the repair completion date. Can I reasonably demand some additional warranty for the parts that were replaced, separately from the rest of the vehicle? Some shops warranty their work for 90 days or something, but I’m pretty sure since this was part of a “we owe” agreement, they were allowed to fix it as cheaply as possible with no warranty.

Any other thoughts on how I can make sure I don’t get burned?


#2

This isn’t really the right place to ask legal questions. We don’t know where you live or the laws in your area. And laws vary greatly.

That said, Run Forest, Run! If you can get out of this deal, do it. The annoyance you have already experienced will likely get worse. There are thousands of used cars out there that run properly when you buy them. Don’t accept a car on the promise of “we’ll fix it if you buy it”


#3

Amen to that. State laws vary, and you need to talk with a lawyer or your state’s attorney general’s office.

Amen to that one too.
Things will not get better from here. Only worse.

In future, I’d recommend that you have any used car you consider subjected to a thorough “going over” before buying, and if it has any conditions unacceptable to you, keep looking.


#4

This is good advice, and actually I did have it inspected by the Ford dealer down the road from the selling dealership and they found one problem. I also did an inspection myself and found some issues and my wife noticed an exterior light that was not working. I think this just goes to show that any 100 or 200 point inspection checklist is still going to generalize and gloss over the details. If it only has 200 or fewer points on the checklist it probably just says “make sure all the lights work” instead of having separate points for taillights, headlights, foglights, brake lights, reverse lights front turn signals, side (mirror) turn signals, etc. Lights alone would easily take up 20+ points on the checklist so there is a huge amount of room for someone to miss something! The selling dealership’s sales manager even acted surprised that his mechanic missed one of the mechanical issues. I guess the proof will be in asking which one of the mechanical items they replaced because I offered to tell them which side it was on and they said their mechanic should be able to catch it this time around.

The selling dealership agreed to fix the 3 major items under “we owe” and to be honest, I feel like they intentionally made me wait around for 2-1/2 hours to wear me down and then when it came time to look at paperwork they rushed me through it and also tried to add on so many upsells my head was spinning.

In hindsight I should have told them I was tired from waiting around so long and should have refused to sign anything until I could look over the paperwork on my own time while they fixed the problems.


#5

After you signed the agreement to buy the vehicle with the conditions that the repairs are made, did you drive it off the lot? If you have not driven it off the lot, then it has not been delivered and that gives you a lot of rights. If you haven’t, they want you to drive it off the lot for legal reasons. This comes under old and almost universal contract laws but you will need a lawyer. You can sue them for failure to fulfill a contract unless you took delivery by driving it off the lot.


#6

No, since the purchase paperwork was filled out, I have not driven it off the lot because of the faulty light which technically makes it illegal to drive in my state (all original lights on the outside of the vehicle must be operable or replaced with an equivalent). The salesperson has told me multiple times that I can go ahead and take it home and incorrectly told me it was legal to drive.


#7

It’s possible that the contract that you signed regarding the dealer fixing things is not valid because the wording should include a reasonable time for those repairs to be completed. Also, the fact that they’ve sold you a car that cannot be driven on the road legally in its current condition is another issue.

I would tell them that I’ve decided not to complete the deal and don’t want the car to see how they react.

In California we have the ‘Bureau of Automotive Repair’ that has a consumer hotline that could give you advice. Maye you have something similar in your state. You definitely should get legal advice and I agree with others that you should not accept this car.


#8

Good, don’t drive that car off the lot. Tell them that if the vehicle is not fixed satisfactorily asap, you are going to get a lawyer and sue them for failure to fulfill the contract.


#9

I don’t understand: all this is over a burnt-out lightbulb? Or are there other issues with the car (particularly ones relating to safety, mechanicals, and/or structural integrity)? You seem to be very vague about what’s wrong with this vehicle.

If all that’s wrong with it is a burnt-out lightbulb (and you’re otherwise happy with your purchase)…replace the lightbulb! Even if they’re “supposed” to be the ones fixing it…not worth the PITA, to me, when I could just plug in a new light bulb for $5 and 10 minutes’ effort, and be on my way.


#10

I can’t imagine hiring a lawyer to get a light bulb replaced. Is there something of significance wrong with the car?


#11

So…how many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb? :wink:


#12

If only it was just a burnt out bulb…it is an entire LED assembly that costs $400 to replace if you take it to a Ford dealership.


#13

Stop messing around and go in person Monday morning and cancel the purchase if you can.


#14

Sounds like the “third (center) brakelight”.
I’m not saying that this is the way is SHOULD work, or suggesting that you NOT contact the AG’s office and perhaps a lawyer, but I have a solution if you end up stuck with the vehicle as-is.

Some years back the “third light” went out on my car. I check the cost of a replacement through numerous sources and it was ridiculous. $140 just for the lamp. Labor would have probably been another $200. So I removed the lamp assembly, disassembled it, and replaced the strip assembly with the LEDs and supporting circuit board & resistors and replaced it with a $20 LED strip from the parts store, RTVing the hole that the wires went through and splicing in the old strip’s connector. Plugged it into the OEM wiring harness and it’s worked perfectly for years.

The dealer should be forced to fix it with whatever’s necessary. I only leave this idea in case you end up with the car, unrepaired, despite your attempts. Life isn’t always fair.


#15

Take an Audi A4 to a Ford dealer? Perhaps there is a communication problem here. Did you take the car to the service department with the “We Owe” paper to have this repaired or is it still in the sales department parking lot?

It shouldn’t take a week to order a lamp, did they tell you when it will arrive? This might go smoother if you follow the process.


#16

I suspect there’s some missing story which might clear things up if known.

However, this should be a real hoot when problems develop (and they will…) once the car is driven off of the lot.


#17

It might be helpful to know exactly what kind of issue we are talking about that needs repair that makes it illegal to drive. Don’t take me wrong but I have gotten the impression that we might be nit picking a little on the repairs being needed.

I remember one used car we bought out of town that we discovered had a few bulbs out once we got it home and something else I can’t remember. We just had the work done locally, and the dealer sent us a check for the $14 or whatever it cost. No problem either way.


#18

EDIT: Oops, I see the reason for confusion now. I’m not sure how I ended up with this question tagged as audi a4. I changed it to Ford. It is a Ford car that is being sold used by a (non-Ford) used car dealer. I got a repair estimate from the Ford dealer but the used car dealer is opting to fix it themselves instead. The service dept is in the loop and already fixed it once but it is still not working.


#19

I previously replied with more details in the thread but have now updated the original post. It is an LED tail light that is malfunctioning. If it was a $5 bulb I would have just bought the bulb and replaced it myself, but LED assemblies cost hundreds of dollars to fix so I don’t think I’m nitpicking in this case.


#20

So far, you’ve done everything you possibly can NOT to be forthcoming/helpful about the pertinent facts. An “exterior light” issue that APPEARS to be a third brake light…but unconfirmed, and only determined via extensive “20 Questions” gameplay here.

Other (unspecified) issues with the vehicle that you have not disclosed in any way, other than to allude to them in passing. As this is at heart a legal issue, it is imperative to know what state this occurred in…which you have not seen fit to share. It seems you bought a used car at a new car dealership…but again, “determined via 20 Questions.”

I understand not everybody can be a gifted communicator…but your economy with facts seems willful. I don’t know how I can help somebody so determined NOT to be helpful himself…and I’m increasingly of the opinion that I shoudn’t bother.