Contact 9: Used Car Advice - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Contact 9: Used Car Advice

Posted: Updated: Nov 21, 2011 06:55 PM
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Probably the most confusing part about buying a used car is knowing what "as is" actually means.  9 News spoke to an expert who literally wrote the book on it.

We see and hear it all the time.  You take a car home and a few days later find out it's been wrecked or in some cases, the vehicle stops working altogether.

Many folks have a hard time getting their money back from dealerships because of the words "as is,"  But according to Southern Law Professor Nadia Nedzel, those two words should not be that intimidating.  She recently co-wrote a book titled Louisiana Law of Sale and Lease.

"'As is' usually doesn't mean much," says Nedzel. "The used car dealer may be tempted to say, 'Oh well, that means you are stuck with whatever this car is.'  Legally, you're not unless he puts that in writing."

There is some other language she says to watch out for though.

"Not just 'as is' but all warranties - especially warranty against redhibition is hereby waived," she says. "You are buying this car at your own risk - that is a car I would run away from, not walk."

Redhibition means returning something because of a defect - voiding the sale.

Professor Nedzel says if the car had problems when you bought it and the dealer didn't bring it to your attention or fix it once he realized there were issues, then he needs to pay up. 

But in many cases, that's a hard battle to fight, one many can't afford in court, so Nedzel gave us a checklist:

  1. Ask for the CarFax
  2. Take the car to a mechanic to get it checked out.  Not your brother Joe who thinks he's a mechanic - a qualified professional who can give a receipt.
  3. Get a second pair of eyes on the paperwork.
  4. Before you even worry about defects, ask if the dealer has the title to the car.

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