Car buying has never been so difficult..
September 24, 2011 4:05 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: I just "bought" a new car. On the drive home problems (that weren't there when I test-drove it) popped up. What are my options?

I bought a new car today. On the drive home the oil pressure light popped on. I immediately called the dealership, and they made an appointment with a mechanic, but I'm afraid that the mechanic won't be able to fix the problem. I'm also afraid that if the price gets too high they will refuse to pay for it. Googling shows that this has been a high-cost, ongoing problem for people with this model of car in the past. I think I have an out though - I signed the financing paperwork, but since it was done on a Saturday the bank hasn't agreed to it yet and the financier is almost certain it won't go through as-is. I'm considering just going in and saying that due to the condition of the car I'm no longer willing to sign for it. Can I do that? Is it completely unethical? Also, I really like this car otherwise, so is there some form of bargaining I can do to get a warranty or other repair guarantee (since my bank won't finance a warranty)?

1. A mechanic previously looked at this and gave us his ok. He has admitted there is an issue and gave us a refund for the inspection, but doesn't know what the problem is without a lot of investigation.
1. This car is used, semi-high mileage, and not covered under a warranty.
posted by semp to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What state are you in? Look up lemon laws for your state.
posted by thirteenkiller at 4:21 PM on September 24, 2011

This covers the situation a little. Sounds like it is state by state, and sorta up to the dealer.
posted by timsteil at 4:27 PM on September 24, 2011

Response by poster: Indiana.
posted by semp at 4:34 PM on September 24, 2011

Out of curiosity, what make, model, and year is the car?
posted by InsanePenguin at 4:58 PM on September 24, 2011

Here in Oklahoma, you're SOL unless the contract has specific outs, of which inability to get financing at or below a certain rate is usually one. (you pay dearly for the mileage you put on it if the deal is unwound) Obviously, the dealers like to make that number as high as possible, but it's negotiable, so it varies by contract.
posted by wierdo at 5:30 PM on September 24, 2011

The Lemon Law in Indiana is only in effect if a car is under 18,000 miles or is under 18 months old. Whichever comes first. Either way, it's completely up to the dealership unfortunately. As a side note, hello fellow Hoosier! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
posted by camylanded at 6:58 PM on September 24, 2011

Response by poster: It doesn't matter at all that the financing for the car has not been officially finished?
posted by semp at 7:23 PM on September 24, 2011

Make an appointment with a mechanic yourself, in addition to using their preferred mechanic...who might be inclined to say it's not the dealership's fault.
posted by rhizome at 8:08 PM on September 24, 2011

If you've signed out and taken delivery, you're hosed if they get the financing done as-is. If not, they would need you to re-sign the paperwork at which point you can back out of the deal. I suppose that its possible that the dealer might charge you for mileage driven but that isn't something that I ever heard of anyone doing when I sold cars here in Minnesota. Indiana could be different though.

Also check the window sticker for something about a warranty. I don't know about your state but here dealers are required to provide at least a 30-day warranty on used cars provided they're under 100,000 (I think). There would have been a sticker in window with a check box by either the warranty details or it would have said "AS IS".

If there is any kind of state required warranty, there should be mention of it somewhere in the paperwork.
posted by VTX at 8:25 PM on September 24, 2011

Before you do anything else at all you should check the dipstick, and if the oil is low, top it up.
posted by flabdablet at 11:56 PM on September 24, 2011

I'm in Indiana. As far as I know, if there is no warranty with the car, you're pretty-much hosed. Now, the fact that the financing isn't completed might give you some leverage, if you're willing to play hard-ball. Not having financing finished before getting the car, though, is a bit odd. No dealer would let a car go without financing locked-down. Are you financing through the dealer? Have you signed all the necessary papers? If so, you're back to being hosed. Indiana, basically, doesn't give a shit about consumers.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:33 AM on September 25, 2011

Thorzdad wrote: Not having financing finished before getting the car, though, is a bit odd. No dealer would let a car go without financing locked-down.

That's not true in my experience, as the financing is never really complete when you're at the dealer, unless you brought proof of income and the like with you. With dealer-brokered financing, they get a preliminary approval when they put your info into the bank's system. Later, when you provide documentation, the loan is actually funded.

In the past, it wasn't terribly uncommon for a dealer not to be able to sell a loan and have to take the car back. These days, with the automated systems, it's more rare but it still happens.
posted by wierdo at 1:03 PM on September 25, 2011

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