Used car dealership misrepresentation and failure to honor warranty
July 13, 2008 3:49 PM Subscribe
I bought a car from a used car lot on the 29th of May. Since then there have been a laundry list of defects discovered. What if any recourse do I have?
I bought a 2001 Hyundai Elantra form a used car lot on the 29th of May. It came with a 3000 mile limited warranty and the dealer assured us teh car was in fine working condition.
The check engine light came on within 100 miles. I brought it into the dealer who said that there was nothing wrong with it and turned off the light.
The check engine light went back on within 20 miles off the lot. So I went back to the dealer second time. Again said nothing was wrong and switched off the check engine light. Again, it went back on within a few miles.
So I took the car to a local garage, the identified the problem as faulty input and output sensors around the transmission. I had them fix them but they could not find the rest of the problem. I then took the car to the Hyundai dealership (different from the used car dealership where I bought the car). They further identified the problem as a faulty thermostat (expressly covered under the warranty) and a faulty rear Catalytic converter (I'm not sure how they could pass emissions inspection with a faulty cat converter...).
More disturbing though, they found that an aftermarket front cat converter had been installed. The certified Hyundai Mechanic said he had never seen anything like it at it looked like the part was "homemade".
I believe that the dealership that we bought the car from has refused to honor they warranty despite multiple visits and phone calls, purposefully turned off the check engine light to sell the car, and may have also misrepresented the ability of the car to pass emissions inspection at the time of sale since the catalytic converter is defective.
The hitch is that on the sales agreement there are all the boiler plate platitudes that say if sue them I'm liable for their attorney's fees and that they cannot be held liable for anything, blah blah blah.
I plan on filing complaints with the BBB, State AG's office and Utah Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division. My question is this: is to worth it to hire an attorney to file an action against their bond? Should I look at small claims court? (The car only cost 5k) or do the boilerplate sales agreements make a case against dealers extremely difficult?