Is the seller responsible for the car to pass inspection at the sales price of $700.00 dollars?
The Massachusetts Used Motor Vehicle Warranty Law provides protection to consumers in a used motor vehicle sale transaction. This statute offers consumers who buy a used motor vehicle from a dealer, at a price of $700 or more, and with fewer than 125,000 miles on it at the time of sale, the right to have defects affecting vehicle use or safety performed for a maximum fee of $100; or, if defects continue after three repair attempts, or the vehicle is out of service for at least 11 business days, the right to a refund. The law states that no used motor vehicle shall be sold in the Commonwealth by a dealer to a consumer unless accompanied by an express written warranty covering the cost of both parts and labor necessary to repair any defect that impairs the vehicle's safety or use. The consumer may be charged a one-time fee of up to $100 for all covered repairs. This is called the "used vehicle warranty."
Defects covered by this warranty include a defect in the function or usefulness of a vehicle component or malfunction or combination thereof; defects that affect only appearance are not covered.
The terms of protection under this law are:
1. 90 days or 3,750 miles, whichever comes first, for a used motor vehicle which at the time of sale has been operated fewer than 40,000 miles. A purchaser of a very low mileage used vehicle has this protection in addition to any rights the purchaser may have under the new car Lemon Law, but must look to those protections first. This means that if you purchase a "demonstrator," "executive" or "fleet" vehicle with low mileage, you must first check to see if you qualify under the new car Lemon Law before availing yourself of the Used Vehicle Warranty Law.
2. 60 days or 2,500 miles, whichever comes first, for a used motor vehicle which at the time of sale has been operated 40,000 miles or more but fewer than 80,000 miles.
3. 30 days or 1,250 miles, whichever comes first, for a used motor vehicle which at the time of sale has been operated 80,000 miles or more.
The dealer must give you a copy of the used vehicle warranty at the time of sale.; If the dealer does not, or if the copy is incorrect, the warranty period does not begin to run until such time as the dealer gives you a correct copy, and you remain entitled to warranty repairs and arbitration even if you do not receive a copy of the warranty. The dealer may not require you to waive your rights under warranty law.
You must return the vehicle to the dealer for repairs no later than five days after the end of the warranty period; this period may be extended only if you were unable to return the vehicle. The dealer who sells you a used motor vehicle is required to pay for towing the vehicle up to 30 miles if it must be towed during the warranty period; the dealer's refusal to tow the vehicle if it cannot be safely driven may qualify you for an extension.
The dealer may charge you up to $100 for all covered repairs during the warranty period. The dealer is not permitted to charge you more than $100, no matter how many covered repairs are made to the vehicle during the warranty period. You must take the vehicle back to the dealer who sold you the car for attempted repairs. The dealer is not required to reimburse you for repairs made at another facility unless the dealer authorized those charges, either by using that facility as his agent for repairs, or agreeing with you to pay for the repairs. You receive an additional 30 day warranty on any specific repair performed on a covered defect during the warranty period, if the warranty would otherwise have expired. This may mean that the warranty will extend beyond your original 30, 60 or 90 day warranty. You will be entitled to a refund of your purchase price, if the vehicle has been repaired for the same defect three times and the defect continues thereafter, or if the vehicle has been out of service for a total of more than ten business days for repair of any defect or combination of defects, and a defect continues to exist, or recurs, or arises during the warranty period. Business days do not include weekends, holidays or days spent waiting for parts, but the dealer must be able to show you, if requested, proof that parts have been ordered.
The refund amount can exclude amounts listed on your purchase contract as "over allowance" or "dealer discount," so review your purchase contract carefully. You may also be entitled to receive a refund from the dealer for other non-refundable costs directly incurred by you in purchasing the vehicle, including registration fees, finance charges, pro-rata costs of insurance, pro- rata costs of extended warranties, unreimbursed costs of towing up to 30 miles, payments made toward the $100 deductible for repairs, and up to $15 a day for other transportation when your car is out of service starting on the 3rd day of a repair attempt. The dealer can deduct both the "overallowance" or "discount" as well as $.15 per mile for vehicle use from the refund amount.
If the dealer is to buy back the vehicle, he or she will need the title in order to re-sell it. You will thus need to work in cooperation, as the dealer will be unlikely to issue you a refund check without the title in hand.
If you are unsuccessful resolving problems with the dealer on your own, you may request mediation of your complaint through the Attorney General's office. Otherwise, you may wish to apply for arbitration under the state- certified arbitration program conducted by the Office of Consumer Affairs. As of this writing, there is no fee for arbitration. Contact Consumer Affairs for additional information, at (617) 727-7780. You may also choose to consult an attorney about how best to proceed. If the matter involves a claim of less than $2,000, you may file a case in the appropriate Small Claims session for a fee, generally under $20. You are not required to have an attorney represent you in Small Claims, although you may choose to hire one.
Purchasing a motor vehicle from a private party does not provide you with the same warranties as buying from a dealer. The law provides only that a private party seller must inform you, before the sale is completed, of all defects the seller knows of which impair the used motor vehicle's safety or substantially impair its use. The seller's failure to disclose known defects entitles the buyer, within 30 days after the sale, to rescind the sale and receive a refund of the full amount, except for a reasonable deduction for use ($.15 per mile). The private party seller is not required to make or pay for repairs, only to refund the purchase price minus the use deduction. If a motor vehicle, new or used, fails to pass a safety or combined safety and emissions inspection within 7 days of its sale, at a station licensed to conduct such inspections, and if it will cost more than 10% of the purchase price to fix the item(s) causing the vehicle to fail inspection, a buyer may void the sale, and return the vehicle in exchange for a refund of the purchase price. The consumer must notify the seller of the intention to return the vehicle within 14 days of the sale, deliver the vehicle to the seller, and provide the seller with a written statement signed by an authorized agent of the inspection station, stating the reason why the vehicle failed to pass the safety or combined safety and emissions inspection, and an estimate of the cost of necessary repairs.
The buyer is entitled to a refund, but the buyer and seller may agree in writing that the seller may make the necessary repairs at the expense of the seller within a reasonable period of time. Note that this law applies only to sales of motor vehicles, and applies equally to private party or dealer sales, regardless of the price paid for the vehicle, or the mileage on the vehicle at the time of purchase.