Does a car dealership not have to disclose a major problem with a car?

I live in Oklahoma, I'm 16 and i bought a 2004 Audi A4 convertible from a small dealership here. The car is in me and my moms name and we paid cash for it ($8,000). They showed us the carfax and it had a spotless report. i purchased the car on May 14, 2015 so it was just put in my name and i got a tag. I was gone out of state for 3 weeks and when I got back my mom said the air conditioner wasn't working when she had driven it once. I got in it and it was just blowing warm air in this 105 degree Oklahoma weather :(. I took it in to a repair place and they added Freon and checked for leaks for $45, i thought that was it until the guy looked under the car and he said the air compressor looked like it had come from the junkyard and was ridged up there. I got an estimate and it will cost over $1,000 to fix. The dealership had not said that it had one from the junk yard and i think they just did that to sell it and it would be my problem then. I bought it "as is" with no warranty but i was wondering if they can lie and tell me there is nothing wrong with it when really there is $1,000 worth of repair required before i even bought it. Do they not have to tell me? Is there anything i can do? because i cant afford this.


It has only 86,000 miles on it

17 Answers

  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Carfax reports don't tell you about a car's condition. Only a mechanic's inspection can tell you that -- before you buy.

    You bought the car "as-is" which means you can't take it back even if you think the dealer lied to you. Many small used car dealers don't inspect their cars and don't actually know what problems there might be. They often buy cars at auction one day and sell them the next.

    Unless you have absolute proof that the dealer scammed you, you have no chance. And even then, you would have only a slim chance. You have no proof that the compressor was installed by the dealer, or by one of the previous owners of the car.

    Next time when you buy a car, get an outside mechanic to inspect it first. Then you won't get the kind of surprises you got for this car. Or you can buy from a reputable dealer like Carmax, who actually does inspect and guarantee the cars they sell.

  • 5 years ago

    On used cars the only law in effect is simple. Caveat Emptor, Latin for "buyer beware" and in the case of used cars, "as is" unless the dealer offers a written warranty, in which case that document sets up what to expect. I'd bet if you look at the paperwork you were given at purchase, "As is" appears on it somewhere, even if it doesn't the common person knows it is that.

    Knowing that used cars are a gamble and sold as is, you take advantage of your other right as a consumer, and get it inspected by your own mechanic. Did you do that? If so you might have some action to take against your mechanic for missing that defect.

    CarFax is worthless as to condition of a vehicle, as you found out.

    It's also obvious you didn't do your homework before looking at cars, or that particular one would have been on your "Do not consider" list. Just to grab one of the better reviews, at random...


    The good points: The ride and handling are great, the convertible top design is a delight. The bad: Everything is going to cost you (more). Within 50 miles of driving I had a check engine light. The interior ergonomics are, in my opinion, dreadful, with the single cheap plastic cupholder as a start, the plastic click click switches, and more plastic parts that break (sun visor clip, center armrest for me). The extremely annoying warnings. There's the two hour 'stop driving and take a break' warning. the tone when you open the drivers door with the turn signal on. It treats the driver like a moron. Never again!

    Favorite Features

    I think the convertible top design is great. The in dash 6 cd changer is good too.

    Suggested Improvements

    The red display is distracting and should be changed. The center console needs a serious revision, with some decent cup holders and better quality switches where the black doesn't rub off and stronger plastics for all the parts that break. The climate control has a mind of it's own, it often seems to adjust itself, especially when you put the top down. Annoying nagging warnings that are totally unnecessary.

    Keep in mind, that was one of the good reviews. The bad ones went several pages.

    So, back to the question, If there was a defect that made the car unsafe to drive, they would have to tell you that. But dealers don't sell those for the most part except as scrap metal, and an air conditioner is not a safety issue regardless of the temperature in our state (cooler now though, it's raining).

    Advice before you buy again. Research. is one source for that. Once you have your short list of those that meet your criteria, go look. When you are down to "the one" take it to your mechanic, spend a little now to save a lot later.

  • 5 years ago

    Better you should have bought a 15 year old Ford. The Audi is the oil guzzling money pit unreliable and very complicated German nightmare. I hope you learned something. Take an auto mechanics course or two while it's still free public school. If they knew of the problem, they were obligated to tell you. Try proving it though. Since you live in that part of the country, you should be used to the climate, so put the top down and smile between trips to the shop. Audi...pffft! I'm sad for you if you ever buy another Audi.

  • 5 years ago

    You are assuming they knew about the compressor and that is was used. You did not notice it so why assume they did? The bottom line is that you bought the car, "As Is". That means exactly what it says. Saying that, if you can prove fraud then you might have a legal case. Otherwise you bought it, you own it, and you will pay for any repairs. BTW, a Carfax only shows if the car has been in an accident, stolen, or flooded. Even then Carfax is not fool proof. Unless something is reported it will not show up on a Carfax report. You can wreck a car, repair it yourself, and the car will have a clean Carfax report.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    You cannot assume the dealership even had knowledge of any issues with the car. Contrary to popular belief, dealers do not go over their used cars with a fine toothed comb. They either take them on trade or buy them at auction and put them on the lot to sell. It is the buyer's responsibility to determine the condition of a used vehicle before buying it. Since it's a 12 year old Audi, you bought the vehicle "as is" and are responsible for all repairs. Buying any used vehicle carries risk, and the risk is to the buyer.

  • JJ
    Lv 6
    5 years ago

    Carfax is as full of holes as a piece of Swiss Cheese.

    If you had a car that was in an accident on a tow truck and you pull up to a shop and ask " will this get put on Carfax?" if the answer is yes you say to the tow truck driver "keep on driving to another shop"

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    > I bought it "as is" with no warranty<

    What part of this statement don't you understand?

    Was the A/C working when you bought it? If not why buy it with a faulty A/C

    Did the mechanic you took with you to thoroughly check the car over before you bought it spot anything wrong with the A/C? You didn't get an independent assessment? Then use the money you saved to fix the A/C

    Buying a car is one thing, running it, as you are finding out, can be very expensive.

    If you can't afford to fix the A/C run it with the roof down.

  • Never
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    as is means it.

    they fixed the air for less than 1000. so can you.

    And AC is not considered a major problem. A motor or transmission is.

    But it wouldn't matter regardless.

    An 86,000 mile audi was probably the single worst car you could buy.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    You bought "as is". You can't prove the dealership knew about the problem. When buying "as is" it's the buyer's responsibility to ascertain the condition of the vehicle.

    You didn't.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I guess you got all emotional and didn't THINK of having a reputable tech who knows Audis look it over prior to purchase, huh!?!? Go on, and look for the same car, and price out the air con components. They sell very good to excellent used parts, and new ones too. It doesn't have to be a convertible for the parts, look at the four door and Avant (wagon) too.

    Source(s): Own several Audis and VWs, all are registered, insured, tagged, and running.
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