Legal Question in Product Liability in California

I sold my vehicle on Oct 2nd, with a valid CA smog certificate until 10/17/15 (buyer and sellers are from CA). On Oct 12th, buyer contacted me saying the engine overheated so he wants his money back. I already submitted the seller's portion to DMV on Oct 4th, so I think the transfer process has started. I am not a mechanic, but the car had no engine problem when I had it. Buyer also test-drove the car and inspected the vehicle before he bought the vehicle. Am I protected by law to refuse his refund request?

Asked on 10/13/15, 6:33 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Len Tillem Tillem McNichol & Brown

It's not a product liability question, but the general answer is this: The buyer could sue you for misrepresentation, either intentional or negligent. The buyer can win if he or she can convince a jury or small claims court judge that you knew or should have known about the mechanical problems with the vehicle and that you failed to disclose them when you sold it. The fact that you filed the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability and whether or not the buyer registered the vehicle with the DMV has no bearing on the buyer's opportunity to sue you for misrepresentation.

Will you lose? Hard to say, as I can't guess as to what the problem with the vehicle is, the cost of repair, and the circumstances surrounding the sale.

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Answered on 10/13/15, 9:53 am

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