RALEIGH OFFICE

1033 Bullard Court, Suite 207
Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone:  (919) 981-4475
Fax:  (919) 926-1676
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“As-Is” Vehicles

Unfortunately, if you have purchased a used vehicle in North Carolina it is not covered by any general used vehicle lemon law. Unless you have purchased an extended warranty or service contract from the dealership or third party, you are running a big risk if your vehicle later breaks down.

Moreover, an “As-Is” vehicle sale it is most likely not covered by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal warranty law that applies to almost any consumer good that is covered by a written warranty. Although North Carolina law requires warranty “disclaimers” such as an “as-is” notice to be “conspicuous”, or easy to see and clearly explained, car dealerships are not permitted to lie to you or otherwise deceive you about a vehicle’s underlying condition and then hide behind an “as-is” disclaimer. If you have purchased an “as-is” vehicle that is seriously defective after its purchase, then it is possible you may still have other legal recourse, including claims for fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

An Ounce of Prevention… – In today’s market environment, consumers need to be wary when purchasing a used vehicle and to take steps to protect themselves. Although this doesn’t give anyone the right to mislead, deceive, or cheat you to make a sale, when buying a vehicle it is never more true that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Carfax and Autocheck are two services that provide a great ‘insider” look into a vehicle’s history. Although it can be rather costly to run one for every vehicle you are considering, when you have narrowed down your choices, these are great resources and are worth every penny if they make the difference between purchasing a lemon or a reliable vehicle.

Have your prospective vehicle checked out by a trusted mechanic. You always have the right to request that it be checked out by your mechanic first before you agree to buy it, and you should always require the sale to be contingent upon a successful inspection. Despite a common misconception, there is no official 3-day “Cooling Off Period” in North Carolina, so it is best to do your homework before signing on the dotted line. If a dealership doesn’t want to let you do this or otherwise resists such a request, walk away and find a better dealer.

Finally, you should to take action and do your part to help North Carolina pass a Used Vehicle Lemon Law. Consumers, especially those who find themselves stuck with an “as-is” lemon, need to lobby their own state representatives to demand that the State pass such a law. Call or write your state representative and senator, tell them your story, and lend your voice to others who are advocating for stronger consumer protection laws for used vehicle buyers.

As always, if you think you may have purchased a lemon or been cheated by a car dealership, contact us today. We may be able to help.

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