In Florida, state and federal laws apply when used cars are sold. The intent and purpose of these laws are to protect people buying cars as well to make sure that dealers’ rights are assured. When it comes to the sale of used cars, dealers and buyers often clash over warranties. Laws for warranties are determined by the federal code in many states. Many states have adopted versions of the UCC (the Uniform Commercial Code). However, Florida has no law that would be known as a “lemon law” if the car is bought “as is.”
The “implied warranties of merchantability” apply when a car is bought in Florida. This means the product will “do what it is supposed to do” and is fit for the purpose for which it is being sold.
Beyond this limited warranty, however, other warranties must be written into the other terms of the contract. Sometimes an extended service contract is a good idea, but it is important to consider if the repairs covered by the service contract are already included with the warranty offered by the dealer.
What is the Used Car Rule?
The Used Car Rule was established by the Federal Trade Commission. This rule is intended to reduce or eliminate the purchase of used cars whose warranties have been misrepresented or whose condition has been otherwise misrepresented. Because of this rule, the “Buyer’s Guide” has to be put in the window of any used car in Florida. This guide must include the VIN number, outstanding warranties, and warranties that do not apply to that particular car. Failing to include any of this information could be considered a breach of an express warranty.
What Other Protections Exist?
Prior to buying a new car in Florida, it is important to do thorough research and compare prices of the models you are looking at that were made in a similar year and are in similar condition. Florida has a Vehicle Safety Hotline you can call to see if a particular car model has been recalled for safety issues.
The Better Business Bureau also offers information on specific dealers. If there have been complaints about particular dealers running scams, the Better Business Bureau will have reports on them. It is also important to make sure the car you want to buy has been recently inspected by a mechanic other than the one that is selling the vehicle. If the dealer won’t pay for a independent inspection, that is a red flag that something might be wrong with the car.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Having an attorney help you with your Florida lemon law problem can not only make life easier, but it can help secure a fair and equitable result is reached. A consumer lawyer will know how to get the results you want, and bring a lawsuit on your behalf if needed.