Citadel recently helped a client get a full refund after they accused a used car dealer of failing to honor a written warranty.
When buyers of used cars experience mechanical problems with their cars, dealers will often assert that the car was sold “as-is” or the repairs are not covered by the warranty. They often have a piece of paper signed by the buyer to back them up. But selling a car “as-is” is not a license to lie, cheat and steal from consumers.
In Rhode Island, even if the sale was “as-is,” if you buy a used car with less than 100,000 miles from a dealer, the dealer must give you a written warranty covering the:
- Engine, which captures all lubricated parts, water pump, fuel pump, manifolds, engine block, cylinder head, rotary engine housings, and flywheel
- Transmission, including the transmission case, internal parts, and the torque converter
- Drive axle, covering the front and rear drive axle housings and internal parts, axle shafts, propeller shafts, and universal joints
- Brakes from the master cylinder to the vacuum assist booster, wheel cylinders, hydraulic lines and fittings, to the disc brake calipers
- Steering assembly, starting from the steering gear housing and all internal parts to the power steering pump, valve body, piston, and rack
- Alternator, generator, starter, and ignition system, excluding the battery
If the car has less than 36,000 miles, the warranty must be for 60 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. If the car has between 36,000 and 100,000 miles, the warranty must be good for 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first.
In Massachusetts, the law is even more consumer-friendly. Dealers must give a written warranty for cars with up to 125,000 miles that is good for 90 days or 3,750 miles, whichever comes first. If the dealer fails to honor the warranty, you may be able to sue under MGL 93A, the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act and recover up to 3 times the damages you suffered along with all your attorney fees.
If you are concerned about a used car purchase, call me at Citadel Consumer Litigation to discuss your specific situation. The office is conveniently located 10 minutes from Warwick, RI and just 45 minutes from Worcester, MA.
For More Information:
For more details about Rhode Island law, read the Rhode Island Used Car Warranty requirements.