Dear Consumer Ed:
I recently purchased a used car with an agreement that I would leave the car at the dealership, the dealer would repair a couple of items, and I could pick up the vehicle in two days. It’s been three weeks now and the dealer won’t produce the car or refund my money. When I try to find out the status of the car, they refuse to give me a delivery date. Can they do that?
Consumer Ed says:
The dealer may have an obligation to repair and deliver the car to you consistent with the time in your agreement for repairs to be performed. However, if your agreement to perform repairs is not in writing, you may encounter difficulty proving that the seller agreed to repair your vehicle and do so within two days of sale. Regardless of whether you can prove and enforce the agreement to repair, the dealer cannot refuse to deliver the vehicle to you after you’ve paid for it. Given the challenges you have already encountered in engaging with the business, you may want to consider consulting with an attorney regarding receiving the vehicle and/or receiving a refund. In addition, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by visiting consumer.ga.gov or by calling (404) 651-8600.
Because most used car sales contracts specify that the car is being sold “As Is”, and makes no provision for cancellation or repairs, it is important to keep the following tips in mind when shopping for a used vehicle:
- If a dealer makes promises, particularly concerning repairs or warranties, be sure to get them in writing before you buy the car.
- It’s a good idea to run a vehicle history report through vendors such as autocheck.com or carfax.com prior to purchasing the vehicle. These reports can reveal issues involving odometer discrepancies, accident history, and whether the car was salvaged or flood-damaged.
- Finally, one of the most important things you can do to make sure the used car you’re buying is in good shape is to have it inspected by a reputable mechanic not affiliated with the seller before you sign a contract or pay any money. If the dealer refuses to let you do that, go elsewhere.
Submit your own question to Consumer Ed. Remember…we do not give legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about legal issues.