Used Car

My son just bought a 2001 grand prix gt from a used car lot last night. We went up and paid for the taxes and plates. When we left the car was fine then all of a sudden the engine started to rev and he couldn’t accelerate. I’m assuming it’s the transmission. What are our rights as far as the dealership. It hasn’t even been 24 hrs.

Automatic or stick shift?

As far as rights, you probably have a right to pay for the repair. If the dealer is really nice he might help you out, but I would not count on it unless there is a warranty of some sort.

It’s a stick. Do you think it is the transmission?

I think it’s the clutch.

Since it was bought from a dealer, you may have by law a time period in which to void the deal, called a “right to recision”. Check with you state’s Atty General’s office.

  • mountainbike

Do you mean to tell us that neither you nor your son know whether there is a warranty on the car that he bought?

In most states, a used car dealer has to post a notice on the car stating whether it comes with a warranty or is being sold as-is. Typically, used cars come with a 30 day warranty of sorts, with many limitations and exclusions.

I would suggest looking through the paperwork that came with the sale, especially the receipt/invoice to see if there is any notation regarding a warranty or the absence of one. Without a warranty, you are likely going to be on the hook for the repair costs all by yourself.

If it’s a stick shift I’d guess it’s the clutch. Has your son driven a stick shift before? If the clutch was on its last legs an inexperienced driver could kill it pretty quick. Clutches are a wear item.

As other’s have said, there may be a right of recision or a limited time warranty. You should find out ASAP.

I think it’s the transmission. If the car popped out of gear while driving, that indicates the transmission is worn or damaged to the point that it must be rebuilt. Let’s hope I am wrong. If it happened between shifts then it may be only a bad clutch cable, a cheap repair.

There is the implication that your son failed to adequately test drive the car before buying. Keep this in mind before assigning blame.

It’s possible the dealer is innocent. Used car dealers typically do not inspect or test the cars they receive. They buy and sell as-is. This particular dealer was likely unaware of the problem.

Your rights will vary by state. Check them out before you return. Likely you will have none. Then you have to hope the dealer will let you swap for another car from his lot. Don’t expect anything more generous than that.

That’s interesting. I’ve never seen an an '01 PGP with a stickshift. NADA doesn’t show a stick (AKA 5-speed) as an option for that car.

If it is a stick, then the clutch has turned to bubble gum. Clutches can fail in three ways. They can fail to disengage the engnie from the transmission. They can slip, like in your case, or the springs in the clutch plate can go bad causing agreat deal of chatter upon engagement.

If your son signed an “AS IS” disclaimer (he should have a copy if so), then neither of you have any rights except to pay for the repair.

Were you with Jr. when the problem occurred or was he out with friends at the time?
A transmission seldom just drops that quickly without some warning signs.