people's Lawyer


Car has transmission problems and seller claims he didn't know

Question I bought a used car from an individual. I immediately had transmission problems. It will cost $1,000 to repair it. The seller says he had no idea there were any problems and won't pay for the repairs. What are my legal rights?
Answer As I have said before, your legal rights are the same whether you purchase the c ar from an individual or a dealer. Basically, to recover damages you must show t hat the seller either misrepresented the condition of the car or failed to discl ose a known material defect. Because the seller says he did not know about the p roblem, he may not have any liability for the failure to disclose. You will have to prove that he in fact did know. For example, do any of the service records s how a problem. Regardless of the seller's knowledge, however, he could be liable if he misrepresented the condition of the car. For example, if he told you it w as in excellent condition, or that there are no mechanical problems, he could be violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The Texas Young Lawyers have prepared a free booklet discussing your rights under the Deceptive Trade Practi ces Act. To obtain a copy call 1-800-204-2222, ext. 2610.