Whenever you buy a car from a dealer - whether new or used - you will sign a purchase agreement. The problem is that most people have no idea what the function of the document is, or how it will impact their legal rights later.

Based upon phone calls and emails to my office, most people do not understand the importance of the purchase agreement in an auto sales. In fact, the purchase agreement eliminates most of the claims these would-be clients would like to bring against the sellers of defective cars.

Did the car come with any warranties? If it was used, probably not. In states where “As-Is” sales are allowed, most used cars are sold as-is. I hear from people all the time who say they did not notice that language on their purchase agreement or the car’s window sticker - even though many purchase agreements incorporate the terms of the window sticker into the agreement.

Do you think the dealer failed to deliver on a promise? Check the purchase agreement. Did they put that “promise” in writing? Again, look to the purchase agreement. If the promise is not there, it probably is not enforceable.

I have written about this before. If you cannot listen to podcasts - despite the fact that all the cool kids are doing it these days - read the article I wrote on the topic. Not as fun as seeing or hearing me rant, but it will have to do.

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Here is the audio:

And the video:

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Steve Lehto has been practicing law for 24 years, almost exclusively in consumer protection and Michigan lemon law. He wrote The Lemon Law Bible and Chrysler’s Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Coolest Creation.

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