USED CAR FAQ’s
1. Is there a three day return law when you purchase a vehicle?
No. Unless something is written into your sales paperwork, there is no 3 day right to cancel a motor vehicle sale. If the car dealer says you will have a couple of days to make up your mind, make sure it is written in the sales paperwork because otherwise you could be stuck. But, many car dealers don’t follow the law right and that may give you the right to cancel the sale for other reasons.
2. Do I have to return the car I just bought if the car dealer says the loan didn’t go through, even though I signed all the papers?
Maybe. It depends on your sales papers. Look for a “spot delivery” or “conditional sale” clause in your paperwork. Even then, it may not be binding on you. It is an old trick in the car business to act like you are selling the vehicle to the consumer, do all the paperwork, and then wait a day or two or so — and then call the consumer and say the financing didn’t go through so they need to put more money down, redo the paperwork, or bring the car back, etc. And when you do, if you had a trade in then they will usually tell you they sold it already too. That kind of sales tactic is a scam and generally illegal, but it happens all the time. Often the dealer can not legally cancel the sale at all, but if you don’t know it, they may try to bully you into bigger payments or paying more money down. Don’t fall for it. If you aren’t sure what your rights are, let us see your paperwork. We can tell you.
3. What is an as-is warranty?
It’s no warranty at all. Once you take the vehicle, you are stuck with whatever goes wrong with it and whatever it costs to fix it. Never buy a vehicle “as is” — but many times a car dealer will tell you they are selling the vehicle to you ‘as is” when legally that is not true at all because there may be implied warranties.
If you can’t get it worked out, call our office at 888.331.6422 so we can review your paperwork and let you know what can be done legally.
4. Does the Lemon Law cover a used car?
Yes, it can. The Ohio Lemon Law covers a vehicle for the first year after its sale as a new vehicle or the first 18,000 miles of use, whichever occurs first. If your problems fit the law while you are still within that time frame, then the Lemon Law may still apply to help you get rid of it.
5. Does a car dealer have to tell me if the used vehicle I am buying was bought back once by the manufacturer under the Lemon Law?
Yes. Car dealers know that the market value of a lemon just isn’t as good as a car that has always run right. When you buy a car that was once a lemon, you may be buying someone else’s trouble. Many people believe in the saying “once a Lemon, always a Lemon” and they just won’t pay much for a lemon “buyback” car. The dealer was supposed to tell the consumer if the car was a Lemon Law buyback, before they sold it to you. You can learn more about Lemon Laundering if you click here. (add link).
If you believe the vehicle you purchased was a “laundered lemon”, please contact our office at 888.331.6422.
6. Can I cancel a contract for an automobile within 3 days?
Not unless it is part of the sales agreement. However, if the car dealer violates the law in the process of selling you the car, then you probably can cancel the deal as long as the vehicle is still in substantially the same condition as it was when you got it and you asked them to cancel the deal within a reasonable time.
It is very important that you act quickly. If the dealer is refusing to cancel the deal then you need to call us right away at 888.331.6471.
7. Is there a limit on the number of repair attempts that I have to put up with?
There can be. If your vehicle problems are covered by any warranty at all and the dealer does not get them fixed within a reasonable number of chances and in a reasonable amount of time, then you can consider the warranty to be breached. What is reasonable? It depends on what the problem is. The more serious the problem, then more chances might be reasonable. If the problem is easy to diagnose, then less chances might be reasonable.
If you aren’t sure, then call 888.331.6422 and we may be able to help you figure out what is reasonable and if you have a case.
8. Can a dealer or repair shop charge me more than the written estimate I was given?
No. If you ask for a repair estimate before the work gets started, then they have to give you one and they can not try to charge you more than 10% above that estimate unless they get your permission in advance of doing the additional work. In fact, repair shops often violate Ohio law and many of them do not even know there is a law that covers them. You may have lots of legal rights on auto repairs. Ohio has a special law that covers repair shops and says what they can and can not do.
9. When do I have to file for BBB or arbitration?
You can always complain to the Better Business Bureau and they may try to help you work out your dispute with a manufacturer or dealer or repair shop. Some sales documents or warranties say that if you are not happy with their service then you must complain to the BBB or file for arbitration and that you can not go to court at all. Sometimes that is enforceable and sometimes not. The only way to know if you must do it is to call us and, after we discuss your transaction in detail, we can tell you. It seems like half the time you do and half the time you don’t, so there is no real way to say for sure if you have to go through the BBB or arbitration until we review everything that happened and go over your paperwork. Then we can tell you and you will know for sure.
10. What is arbitration ?
When two sides of a dispute can not agree on how to resolve it, sometimes you can go through an “arbitration” process. It is a private process, run by a private business, where both sides of a dispute get a chance to say what they think happened and what they want done in front of what is supposed to be a “neutral” person or company and the arbitrator will say what should happen between them.
You may not need an attorney’s help to go thru it, but your odds of winning always go down when you go it alone. The worst thing about arbitration is that it limits your legal rights.
If you have a bad vehicle and your paperwork includes an arbitration clause, please contact our office at 888.331.6422 so we can review your paperwork and let you know how best to proceed.
You can find out more about arbitration at www.GiveMeBackMyRights.com.
11. What can I do if the used vehicle I bought just broke down and I can’t afford to make the payments and fix it too?
First look at your sales paperwork and see if there is anything about any kind of warranty. Next think about what the dealer said to you when they were selling it to you — was there anything that you think they misrepresented, lied about, or hid from you? Most used car dealers won’t do anything more for you than they have to do, so knowing your legal rights is critical to knowing what you can make them do. Once you know that, you know how to argue with them.
If you aren’t sure, the best thing you can do is to call us at 888.331.6422 and let us review your paperwork.. We can go over the whole situation and explain what your best argument is, so you can get it fixed without spending a fortune.
12. What rights do I have if the car dealer sold me a $5,000 car that stopped running within a month after I purchased it, and is not worth what I paid for it?
Ohio has a price gouging law that says no business is allowed to sell something to a consumer at a price that is substantially in excess of what it normally would sell for. If that car was not worth what you paid for it, you may have the right to cancel the sale or get a partial refund. Look around to see what your kind of vehicle was selling for elsewhere, such as in the newspaper, on the internet, etc. Also, get a repair estimate so you know what you are looking at to get it fixed. What you want to be able to do is prove that the dealer probably knew the vehicle had problems when the sold it to you or that they sold it for a much higher price than it was really worth because of the repair bill you are stuck with. Many used car dealers violate the law in their sales practices and you may even have the right to cancel the sale.
If you aren’t sure, call us at 888.331.6422.
13. What can I do if I just realized I cannot afford the car I just bought?
If the car dealer violated the law in selling you the car, you may be able to legally cancel the sale. But figuring that out is not easy. We need to talk with you and go over all your paperwork to find out. If there is any way to legally get you out of a bad deal, we will find it. But the last thing a car dealer wants to do is take back a sold car and cancel the sale, so you can count on them fighting you and you have to be sure you are right when you get into that kind of dispute.
If you find yourself in this situation, call us at 888.331.6422.
14. Do I have to wait 30 days for a dealer warranty to “kick in” if I purchased a used vehicle that came with a dealer warranty? I need repairs now and the dealer says I have to wait.
You don’t. Many warranties or service contracts that dealers sell say that nothing is covered for the first month or so. And if it doesn’t say it in your warranty, sometimes it says that in the dealer’s contract with the warranty company. The dealer doesn’t want to pay the cost if they can make the warranty company pay it, so they may stall you into waiting for awhile. Warranty companies usually will not cover “pre-existing” problems with a vehicle, even though their warranty may say they do.
15. What can I do if the dealer verbally promised to fix defects that I discovered during the test drive on my vehicle and he is now refusing to make the repairs?
When a dealer makes that kind of promise, be sure you get it in writing because you may not be able to make them do anything later. If you have any kind of document at all, that may be enough to force them to do the repair work. If they still won’t do it, then it’s time to call us. If there is any legal way to force them, we will know what it is and when we are done talking with you, you will know it too.
We want you to know your rights so call us at 888.331.6422.
16. If I co-sign a loan, am I responsible if they don’t make the loan payments?
You bet you are, so be careful before you co-sign for a loan. And your liability has nothing to do with whether or not your name is on the title either. Having your name on the loan papers means you agree to pay it when the other person doesn’t. And you can get sued even if you never find out that the other person stopped paying it. Having your name on the title means you have an ownership interest in the vehicle, and that has nothing to do with the loan. If your name is not on the title then you have no legal interest in the vehicle at all. So you can get stuck with the loan but unable to get the car at all. If you are going to co-sign on a loan, make sure that your name is put on the title too as a co-owner, and make sure that the word between your name and the other person is “or” but not “and” so that you can transfer the title by yourself later if you get stuck with the loan payments.