Many used cars are sold “As-Is.”  We explain more about what “As-Is” means here:  http://consumerlaw365.com/lemon-law/auto-fraud/as-is-used-car/  For the most part, it is a dealership’s number one way to try to avoid liability for a bad car sale.  When consumers call the dealership after buy a defective car, the dealership will often say, “Sorry, you bought the car As-Is.  So, we don’t have to help you.”  Unfortunately, most consumers take this as the gospel truth and accept their loss.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  Federal Law and Pennsylvania Law provide multiple protections to consumers that cannot be waived or removed through an “As-Is” sale.  Here are 12 ways to pursue a claim against the dealership who is trying to hide behind an “As-Is” clause.

  1. As Is requires the dealership to transfer a vehicle with a good clear titles.  That means there are not liens on the title.  If you buy a car in which the dealership did not have good title it cannot hide behind As Is.
  2. As Is clauses only apply to Implied Warranties.  Express warranties provided in writing or oral representations about the vehicle cannot be disclaimed.
  3. Federal law prohibits an As Is sale if the dealership also provides a written warranty or service contract.
  4. Minimum standards for used cars are provided under Pennsylvania Law and an As Is clause cannot get around those minimum standards.
  5. Pennsylvania law requires the sale of vehicles that will pass inspection unless the dealership tells the consumer that the vehicle will not pass inspection prior to sale.  An As Is clause will not protect the dealership who sold a car that would not pass inspection.
  6. Along with Federal Law, Pennsylvania Law prohibits a dealership from selling a vehicle As Is while also providing a warranty.
  7. A consumer can always revoke his/her purchase if the car suffers from a nonconformity that substantially impairs its value.
  8. Pennsylvania law prohibits oral or written misrepresentations regarding cars with frame damage, flood damage, and salvage titles, even when sold As Is.
  9. As Is cannot waive or prevent claims of fraud, negligence, strict liability, and good faith duties to disclose known defects.
  10. The federal odometer statue, that comes with a $10,000 minimum damage clause and attorney fees can never be defeated by an As Is clause.
  11. The resale of a car previously declared a “Lemon” when the dealerships does not disclose the Laundered Lemon is not covered by As Is
  12. Pennsylvania law also provides statutes requiring disclosure of air bag issues prior to sale, even when the vehicle is sold As Is.

So, what does an As Is clause do?  It only protects the dealership against claims involving the implied warranty of merchantability and the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.  These are Uniform Commercial Code statutes that are not often used anyway.  Additionally, an applicable As Is clause is only valid if the dealership followed the law when selling a car “As Is” and most dealerships don’t know the law.