How do Lemon Laws apply to used vehicles? 4 Answers as of September 14, 2015

I recently purchased a used vehicle, and at the time of purchase the dealer did not disclose multiple problems with the vehicle. I have already spent $450 diagnosing and fixing other issues with the car (i.e., dealer told us multiple time that the AC was "great", but as soon as we tried to use it in the heat it was not cold at all). The issue now is that the ignition switch is faulty, and the dealer has admitted this. He offered to replace it IF he could find a specialized VW ignition tool, but now tells me he can't find that tool and won't buy it to fix my vehicle. What is my recourse? Since he had already offered to fix the problem (which was pre-existing), can he legally now tell me that it is my responsibility?

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Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
He can legally tell you almost anything he wants. What he may not do is vary from the written sales agreement, so I suggest yo read your copy with care. A verbal promise, unsupported by consideration (i.e. payment of some sort) is not generally enforceable. But your state may have some particular laws relating to warranties on used vehicles, or warranties in general, which you can use. Contact your states Consumer Protection bureau. Such agencies are often housed in the Department of Justice, but as to vehicles there might be someone in the Department of Transportation. In Wisconsin we have the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Lemon laws are not, in my experience, very helpful. In any case, the one in Wisconsin on its ace applies only to new car purchases. However, nothing limits your ability to sue the dealer if you can demonstrate misrepresentation, fraud, or other actionable wrongdoing.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 9/14/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
You do not tell us which state you were in when you bought the car. In general, if the dealer sold you a car that he knew or reasonably should have known was defective, you are either entitled to return the car or demand he pay you to have it fixed. He can not say he has no responsibility to fix it because he does not want to spend the money to fix the car. Even if he already had the correct tool, he would have to pay some money to have some worker fix the switch. Offer to return the car to him for full return of the sales' price.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/11/2015
Candiano Law Office
Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
Lemon Laws do NOT apply to used vehicles. You purchased the vehicle, AS, IS, unless you have a written warranty to the contrary. This is the origin of the phrase Caveat emptor, Latin for buyer beware.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/9/2015
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
In Alabama, there are no real lemon laws to speak of. There are contract and fraud laws and from the federal standpoint there is warranty law. Most dealers have arbitration clauses in their contracts which are enforceable. You need to look out for that. What you may wind up having to do is to get the car fixed and then look to the dealer to reimburse you. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/9/2015
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