Doing business with a reputable used car dealership should be a positive experience. You should expect to pay fair value, and receive title to a properly functioning vehicle. Unfortunately, sometimes the experience is not satisfactory and consumers often do not know where to turn for assistance.
The first place to seek assistance in Louisiana is with the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission. Their website iswww.lumvc.louisiana.gov. Their telephone number is 225-925-3870. They have a very easy to use online complaint process for you to initiate a complaint against a used car dealership.
The most common concern after purchasing a used car has to do with the condition of the vehicle. Most used cars are sold “As-Is,” which means that you have no rights or recourse in the event that there are any defects or problems with the vehicle. Louisiana has a “Lemon Law,” which provides recourse for the purchase of a defective new vehicle, but these laws do not apply to used vehicles.
Even with an “As-Is” clause, you may have rights in the event of vehicle defects under a few circumstances:
1) If there is any remaining factory warranty, a certified dealership or repair facility should be
able to determine that from the vehicle identification number, and provide services pursuant to that
2) If the used car dealership offered any type of warranty or service contract, they must honor
same. Your rights may be protected under a federal law known as the “Magnuson Moss Warranty
Act.” Any such warranty should be in writing and obtained at the time of the sale.
3) Finally, if there are hidden defects known to the seller, but not disclosed to you, which are
significant enough that you would not have bought the vehicle had you known, you may have
recourse under general Louisiana law.
The best way to try to minimize any issues with a used car is to perform due diligence before
you buy one. Please check out our blog entitled “What Should I do Before I Buy a Used Car?” for
some useful information.