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    sharonblake14's Avatar
    sharonblake14 Posts: 4, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Aug 17, 2006, 10:20 AM
    Private Seller - Bad Purchase
    Hi - bought a 1993 car from a private seller in SC... the ad stated that ac was included in the car. When my husband tried it, only warm air came out. The seller assured him it worked and maybe a wire was loose. We spent $200 for the mechanic to tell us that the compressor makes noise, no refrigarant was in the compressor and that the switch has a leak. We called the seller - he was adamant that the ac worked and am not willing to give some monies back. Do we have a legal claim? False advertisement? SC does not have a lemon law for used cars. Amy help will be appreciated.


    Sharon R. Blake, PMP
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man

    Aug 17, 2006, 11:38 AM
    Sounds like it. If you have the ad and the mechanics statement, you should be able to recover the cost of fixing the AC.
    sharonblake14's Avatar
    sharonblake14 Posts: 4, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Aug 17, 2006, 11:40 AM
    Thanks... :)
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Aug 17, 2006, 12:54 PM
    Hello sharon:

    I don't think you have a case. As you indicated, SC doesn't have a lemon law for used cars. Therefore, used cars are sold in "as is" condition.

    The add is not fraudulent. The car DOES have AC. It just doesn't work. And, if you don't have his statements about the AC on the bill of sale, then the argument devolves into a "he said, she said" kind of thing.

    Absent anything in writing, you have no case. Next time, have your own mechanic check out a used car. If you don't, and the seller represents something, have him put it in writing.

    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man

    Aug 17, 2006, 01:17 PM
    I think it depends on how soon you took it to the mechanic. If it was done immediately upon taking possession, then I still think you have a case.

    One, point though. Even if you do win in Small Claims Court all you win is an order by the court that he owes you money. Its still your responsibility to get him to pay. You will have to go after him for your money.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692

    Aug 17, 2006, 02:41 PM
    I would say many things depend also on the bill of sale, if it is marked "as is" then you are buying it as is.

    Why in the world do you buy things from people that you don't know and take their word on it? Never buy a used car without having the mechanic check it first. If he says that is all there is, say great I am going to take it to a mechanic to have it checked, if he says not, guess what?

    If you have proof, that he said the air works, while air included may make an assumption that it worked, it only ways it was on the car not that it actually worked, that is why you asked does it work.
    Witnesses that heard him say it, also did you include the statement that the air will work on the bill of sale

    When you bought it, the air was not working, you did not ask him to pay for the repair of the air conditioning in the bill of sale, nor did you make mention of it in the bill of sale.

    My bet ( and this is what is great on the American Court system, one attorney will say you have a case and their attorney would say you don't have one)

    And of course 200 sounds like a lot to pay someone just to tell you there is a leak in the system. ( a pressure test). But what you will have to do is get the cost of having it repaired to work and that would be what you would sue for the value to repair the air system.

    I don't think you will win, but you don't really have anything to loose so I would try since he did appear to cheat you.

    Next time learn, always everything in writing, and never buy unless it is checked out first.
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
    Ultra Member

    Aug 17, 2006, 03:04 PM
    I agree with excon

    This is why you need to have a mechanic check over the car BEFORE you buy it.

    With no Lemon Law, I say you are out of luck.

    Buying used cars in private sales are buying AS IS.
    sharonblake14's Avatar
    sharonblake14 Posts: 4, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Aug 17, 2006, 06:56 PM
    Thanks to all for your advice... I will meet with a lawyer on tomorrow and let you know the outcome.
    sharonblake14's Avatar
    sharonblake14 Posts: 4, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Aug 20, 2006, 06:43 AM
    Hi All,

    Thanks again for your advice and suggestions. We visited a lawyer and was advise not to pursue the issue; he did say that there was a 50/50 chance that we would win. We will get the AC fix and ensure that we use this experience as a learning lesson. Just wish folks would be honest... please pass along our unfortunate mishap. Maybe someone else will learn from what we did.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
    Uber Member

    Aug 22, 2006, 08:05 PM
    As you purchased the vehicle privately, the answer to your question is most likely no. The understanding would be that you bought the car "as is" ; not necessarily as the seller advertised it. You could try filing a small claims case against the seller for the cost of repairing the air conditioning system. The fee should not be excessive and there should be forms available online that you can download, complete and submit ; kind of like do-it-yourself lawyering. The fear of going to court may make the seller willing to negotiate with you and reimburse you for at least part of the repair cost. However, be prepared for him to "call your bluff" and go to court, in which case it's doubtful that you would win.

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