As Spokane’s premier consumer protection firm, the Law Office of Boyd M. Mayo often gets the following question from clients: Can I do anything if the car I bought was used and sold “as is”?
The answer is typically: It depends.
In Washington State, every car (new or used) that is sold by a car dealer is typically sold with what is called the implied warranties of fitness and merchantability. To be merchantable, a used car generally must be of ordinary quality and operability of what is expected of similar cars. That is, it should run and be reasonably free of problems and defects.
Most used car dealers, however, will try to disclaim the implied warranty of merchantability by including a formulaic and standard “Implied Warranty Negotiation Statement” that you do not understand and is not explained to you, but you sign it anyway. They will also include that they are disclaiming all warranties and that the car is sold “as is.”
However, implied warranty disclaimers are not automatically effective. The used car dealer (not you, the consumer) has the burden to prove that the disclaimer is effective and meets all of the Washington State disclaimer requirements.
Furthermore, if you purchase (from the same seller) a service agreement within 90 days of the original purchase of the vehicle, the dealer is prohibited by law from disclaiming the implied warranties of merchantability.
Car dealers (new or used) employ a variety of sales tactics for one purpose – to sell you the car and to make money. If you have purchased a lemon car that you are constantly taking in to the dealership for repairs on a service agreement, we can potentially help with used car problems.
Feel free to call us at (509) 381-5091 or e-mail us using our secure contact form
All consultations are always free and always confidential.