When you buy a used car from a dealer, you expect it to be drivable. You also expect the dealer to disclose any problems with the vehicle because repairs could cost you thousands more. SB 543 changes that and allows the sale of “as is” cars. The law would also permit the sale of used, defective vehicles if the defects are “disclosed”–even though most consumers don’t read the fine print–and the defects can be major ones that make the vehicle unsafe to drive.
You should know if you’re buying a lemon!
Current West Virginia law requires that when used vehicles are sold by dealers, they will work for a reasonable amount of time. This “warranty of merchantability” guarantees that when you buy a car, it’s roadworthy. This warranty requires that the vehicle be “in good working order,” and “operate properly in normal usage for a reasonable period of time.” This is the only law that protects you and other consumers by requiring that the vehicles will at least pass inspection before they are sold.
Now, the West Virginia Legislature has passed SB 543. Under this new law, a consumer like this would be powerless and the dealer would be in the clear. Any repairs would be the buyer’s responsibility once the sale agreement with the “as is” disclaimer is signed.
Proponents argue that this would allow more people to be able to afford cars–but those are the very consumers who would not be able to afford additional repairs for problems buried in the fine print. If you’ve spent your last dollar to buy the car, you don’t have the money to then pay for expensive repairs. These individuals could be hurt again when their car doesn’t start, they can’t get to work on time and they lose their job.
“As is” sales allows dangerous, defective cars on the roads, risking the lives of other West Virginians too.
Help protect yourself and other WV consumers from this bad bill.