Consumer Alert: Used Cars and Florida's As-Is Laws


Vicki Armstrong and her family have learned an expensive lesson.

"I got 6 days out of the vehicle. I never expected that," she said.

She bought a truck and less than a week later was involved in an accident that state troopers blamed on a faulty rear axle. Armstrong wanted a refund or the dealer to pay for repairs, unfortunately, because she bought the vehicle as-is there was no warranty for her to turn to.

"As-is to me means brakes, water pumps, alternator, such things. Not rear ends coming out from underneath the vehicle while you're driving down the highway."

Panama City attorney Michael Reiter sat down with Newschannel 7 to discuss how Florida law looks at the situation.

"There is no implied warranties. There's no warranties for a particular purpose and you're just buying a car. As soon as you transact the title for the cash, you own it all and all the responsibilities and liabilities that come along with it."

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website explicitly states that when you buy a vehicle as-is, all repairs are your responsibility, even if breaks down moments after you leave the dealership.

Officials say the best thing to do while car shopping is to do your research on the car:

- Compare prices on the car to ensure you're getting a good deal.
- Consider the car's reliability.
- Make sure you know if the car is covered by a warranty or if you're buying it as-is.
- Always have a mechanic you trust look at the car prior to purchase.


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