Many people prefer to buy used cars because they are not as expensive as comparable new models and do not lose value as quickly as new cars. Of course, used cars are not immune to serious defects. If you have reason to believe that your used car is a lemon, you should act as soon as possible to protect your rights. Since many used cars are sold without warranty or service contract, you should always bring a witness when looking at the used car. You can then testify to the questions that were asked and repeat how the seller answered them. You may want to make a physical list of the questions you want to ask about the car and then check it off when you ask the owner. Take note of the answers while the owner responds. I hope this makes the owner think twice before lying to you. You can also record the conversation on tape, but most people get nervous when they think they are being recorded. You don`t have to tell the seller that you`re recording your conversation with them when you`re talking to them personally. If it`s over the phone, as long as the seller is in NC and you are NC, you can also record the conversation you`re involved in if you inform the sale over the phone with or without informing the seller.
Unfortunately, if you bought a used car “as is” that turned out to be lemon, neither state nor federal laws apply to your car. You can still have recourse if the car dealer has provided a material misrepresentation or misled you about the purchase of your vehicle. However, my law firm does not practice in this area. When you buy a new car, there are federal laws that offer protection, such as the Magnusson Moss Warranty Act, which deals with warranties, and the North Carolina New Motor Vehicle Guarantees Act (NC Gen. Stat. § 20-351). A summary of the Magnusson Moss Warranty Act can be found on the Auto Warranties & Routine Maintenance page of the FTC website. NC Lemon laws do not apply to the purchase of used cars, but used cars may still be under the manufacturer`s warranty, where the manufacturer is liable under the Magnusson Moss Warranty Act. In addition to the original manufacturer`s warranties, you may be offered to purchase a warranty from the used car seller or a third party. If you decide to purchase an extended warranty, you should check the terms of that warranty very carefully to make sure you`re not buying anything that is almost impossible to use.
The North Carolina Department of Justice`s Attorney General`s Office provides a more detailed explanation of used car warranties on the Extended Car Warranties page. You will also find more information on this website about buying used cars. If you have purchased a new or used car and feel you have a legal problem with this purchase, you should contact our office to make an appointment to discuss the matter. Each situation must be examined individually in order to adequately assess a person`s rights or obligations under the specific facts surrounding their transaction. A certified used car warranty states that the manufacturer has affixed its registration label to a used vehicle to reassure the consumer that the car or vehicle is free of defects and will not cause any technical problems to the driver. If the car breaks down and the manufacturer fails to comply with the certified used car warranty, the consumer has the right, under lemon laws, to take legal action against the manufacturer for the breakdown of the vehicle. Although North Carolina`s lemon law doesn`t apply to used cars, you may still have potential remedies. The federal law, known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, applies to used vehicles that are still under the original manufacturer`s warranty. If the vehicle is not covered by the manufacturer`s warranty, our company cannot help you. However, if the damage does not fall into one of the aforementioned categories, it does not have to be disclosed by the seller. When buying a used car, you should inspect it thoroughly and have it examined by a trusted mechanic.
Even if the car is not damaged, it can have significant wear and tear that would affect your purchase decision for that particular vehicle. The North Carolina Department of Justice`s Attorney General`s Office offers great tips and ideas on what to consider when buying a used car on the Buying Used Cars page.