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“As Is” Sales Do Not Leave You Without Any Remedies

If you bought a car or truck “As Is” from a California car dealership, you may still have some rights if the vehicle turns out to be a lemon. So don’t believe the dealer if he tries to convince you that you have no legal rights whatsoever.

One of the first and most important things to remember is that “As Is” sales do not immunize dealers from fraud causes of action. A fraud cause of action essentially entails proving that the dealer lied to the consumer in order to convince him or her to purchase a vehicle. So if a dealer lied to you, and you think you can prove it, then contact a consumer rights attorney right away to discuss your legal options.

Warranted Cars Must be Marked “As Is” Prior to Being Sold

Under California’s lemon law statute, the implied warranty of merchantability (a very limited and basic warranty that the vehicle will provide safe transportation) is AUTOMATICALLY imposed on all used vehicle sales if the used car or truck is sold to a consumer along with an express warranty. Some used cars and trucks have manufacturers’ power train warranties that last as long as 10 years or 100,000 miles. Further, many dealers offer 30 day or 1,000 mile warranties with their vehicles. Even these types of very basic and minimal express warranties are typically enough to impose an implied warranty into a use car sale.

If a used car or truck is sold by a dealer to a consumer with any kind of express warranty, then the only way that the car dealership can eliminate the implied warranty of merchantability is to clearly – and properly – label the vehicle as an “As Is” vehicle while it is being displayed for sale. Under the California lemon law, all other ways of trying to eliminate the implied warranty of merchantability are ineffective. For example, some dealers force consumers to sign “As Is” agreements when they purchase vehicles in order to trick the car buyers into thinking that their vehicles were purchased “As Is.” But signing an “As Is” agreement will mean absolutely nothing if the vehicle was not properly labeled as an “As Is” vehicle while it was on display at the dealership lot.

What’s more, in order to properly label a car as an “As Is” vehicle the dealership must attach a sign or label to the vehicle that states:

  1. The vehicle is being sold on an “As Is” or “with all faults” basis;
  2. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the vehicle is with the buyer; and
  3. If the vehicle proves defective after the purchase, the buyer, and not the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer must pay the entire costs of any necessary repairs.

Under the California lemon law, these labeling requirements are strictly enforced. So if you bought a vehicle from a dealer and it didn’t have a sign attached that met all of these requirements, then the sale was not on an “As Is” basis.

If you have been burned by used car purchase, and the dealer is hiding behind an “As Is” sale document, call an experienced auto-fraud attorney to find out what rights you may have. The Vachon Law Firm offers free consultations in “As Is” vehicle cases. Call us at (858) 674-4100 to learn about your legal rights.

Regardless of what the dealer says, you may be entitled to a refund!