Asked in Lemon Law for Puerto Rico

Q: Does a used car from 2007 with 150000 miles have a guarantee from a used car dealer?

I drove the car for 38 miles and started to have transmission problems. The dealer said that I don't have a guarantee or a refund due to the car having more than a 100,000 miles.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: For the sake of discussion, I'm assuming that the vehicle was purchased and is in use in Puerto Rico. Regulation 7159 of the Puerto Rico Consumer Affairs Department (DACO) states the following warranties are in effect, based upon the mileage of the car:

* Up to 36,000 miles, 4 months or 4,000 miles, whichever occurs first;

* More than 36,000 miles but up to 5,000 miles, 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever occurs first;

* More than 50,000 miles, 2 months or 2,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

Now, although it may be true that 100,000 exceeds the limit of providing warranty, that is not to say that you are without recourse. Your statement regarding your having driven the car 38 miles means that the vehicle already had a substantial amount of mileage on it. A regular lay person (such as myself) has very limited know-how regarding the internal workings of a vehicle, and a case may be stated regarding hidden faults and possibly bad faith on the dealer's part, who (knowingly?) may have sold you the vehicle. If you've had the vehicle for 6 months or less, there's a chance you can take your case before DACO and request the sales contract be rescinded and your money returned. DACO will probably require that the dealer be allowed to try repairing the vehicle; in which case, the dealer's unwillingness or inability to repair the vehicle may open the door for DACO to authorize said rescission.

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