Lynchburg, VA asked in Consumer Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Lemon Law for Virginia

Q: We just purchased a car and found out 3 wks later it shouldn't have passed state inspection! What do we do?

The air also didn't work so well and the top quit working the first week. So, we took the car back and the manager sent it to the service department to be checked. They determined the air compressor and motor in the top were bad and refused to do anything to fix it. All within the first 2 weeks of owning the car. We took it to another mechanic who found a laundry list of other things wrong with the car. One of which, it should have never passed inspection. We put about 250 miles on it and there is no way this happened within the time frame we've had the car (i.e. Bushings worn, control arms, ball joints) Also, rear main seal is bad, radiator leaks, shocks are gone, etc. The car supposedly was just "serviced". The inspection sticker is from June and we purchased in July. We don't want the car anymore...what do we do!?

1 Lawyer Answer
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: In Virginia, the general rule when buying a vehicle is "Buyer Beware." This rule may block you from any recourse. However, the Consumer Protection Act in Virginia will cover your vehicle, especially if there was a latent defect and the dealer should have known about the defect when he sold the vehicle to you. You should get an estimate for the repairs to be done to the vehicle and then you may want to file a Warrant in Debt in the court where you purchased the vehicle. The court will consider your problem and if they award you monetary damages against the dealer, then you may get reimbursed for the expenses, plus attorney's fees. You should certainly consult a local attorney who knows his or her way around the courts.

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