Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationBuying & Selling · 1 decade ago

I was sold a car with the entire headlight system dependent upon an old extension cord. Recourse?

I bought the car a year ago and was told that the car had been hit, but that it was in perfect working order and that the mechanic had gone over everything with a fine toothed comb. The dealer told me that he was waiting on the title, which he said had been held up due to some technicality. I sensed something wrong, but I needed a car badly and was in little position to negotiate. Anyhow, recently I was stopped by a cop and told to get my headlight fixed. I took the car to an auto parts store, who revealed to me that the headlight wiring consisted of nothing more than an old extension cord, which is why the headlight on one side would not work after changing the bulb. Now, I am stuck and cannot afford another car, nor can I afford a new electrical system. Do I have any recourse in this matter? I only occurred to me now to ask here. Thanks!


Um, Frank, if it were that easy, then why was it rigged in the first place, right? Seekn, thanks, that sounds like good advice!

Update 2:

PB, it does not seem legal, and certainly not ethical, that a dealer would sell a car with a faulty wiring system, especially one that is obviously rigged. What if my lights had gone out while driving? Someone could easily have been killed, as many of the roads in this county are unlit. What are you thinking, anyway.

Update 3:

I still believe that it was unethical to sell a car in this condition; however, I must concede that you are probably right - I have no leg to stand on. However, considering that there was a mechanic that works for the dealership, and who also applied the inspection sticker, I assumed that they would be legally bound to sell the car in proper condition, and that they would know this. Buyer beware, live and learn, yada, yada, yada.

Update 4:

Craig, thanks for the info. I'll do what I can.:)

Update 5:

Scott, the dealer (small town) told me that every part of that car had been looked over by the mechanic, and that there was NOTHING mechanically wrong with the car. He was emphatic about this, as I thoroughly explained my situation and that I could not afford to be taken. There was also a problem with the title, which I find very odd. Again, I needed a car in the worst way and went against my better insticts out of sheer necessity. It won't happen again, I'll say that.

8 Answers

  • cimra
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    After a year of ownership your only problem is a loose connection in the headlight wiring?. Sounds to me like you have a great used car, fix the headlight wire and count your blessings that you have no serious mechanical problems. Cars, especially used older cars need some maintenance, its to be expected, after a year of ownership, the seller is not responsible.

    You are being over dramatic, people have electrical failures or burned out headlights all the time. Its too bad someone used improper wire to wire up the headlight, I have seen some butchered up light installations, but this is not something you can go back on the seller with after a year. Replace the piece of wire that need to be replaced with proper car electrical wire. When you buy a used car the its up to you to inspect it or have someone you pay inspect it for you. Even if you buy from a dealer you have a very short, if any, warranty period, certainly not 1 year. I am not trying to be mean here just pointing out that used cars have a history, improper repairs, bad modifications and once you waive your right to get the car inspected you inherit all these problems, they are yours to deal with.

  • Otto
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Your "recourse" is to learn from this. You should NEVER just take the word of someone selling a vehicle. Have it checked out by YOUR mechanic and get a vehicle report on it. Make sure YOU look it over completely before signing a contract to purchase. As another said here, you should be able to replace the faulty wire with a proper wiring harness for not a lot of money. Don't waste your time with the BBB. They have absolutely no power to do anything. They used to be helpful but are not any longer.

    Source(s): Over 40 years repairing and restoring cars.
  • 1 decade ago

    Call your local county attorney's office and see if there is anything they can do to charge the dealer. Most likely after a year the statute of limitations is up and they will also say that the lights worked for a year so maybe someone else botched it up. Unfortunately it's your word against theirs. I would follow all options though. You can get a used harness at a junk yard and they're not too hard to put in, just route it and plug it up. Most headlight harness setups are separate from the engine wiring so there's not as much to replace. Most junk yards don't even fool with a harness so they might let you remove it yourself for $20-30 bucks...If you want to just replace the ext cord replace it with wiring from your local parts store and make shure you solder the connections and use heat shrink to cover them to keep water out. It will last as long as anything else on the car.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Do you think it just might be possible the dealer didn't know about the faulty repair? You rolled the dice and bought a used car. Nothing wrong with buying a used car, all 3 of my cars were bought used. But you need to check them thoroughly before you buy them. A year down the road is too late.

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  • 4 years ago

    As a Christian I believe I'n heaven and hell. But for me, ceasing to exist is a welcoming idea. Although that's mainly because I struggle with thoughts of suicide, so the idea that I could just die and cease to exist is enticing. But at the end of the day, I still believe that the Bible is God's Word and that everything in it is the truth.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have no recourse. After owning this car for one year your only option is to fix it properly.

    If the transmission went out you'd have to fix it, same with the electrical system.

    You bought this car, you've driven it for a year, it's yours, you own it. It's your responsibility to fix it when it breaks.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you purchased this "lemon" from a dealer I would first complain to the Better Business Bureau, then contact the State Attorney Generals office to report the dealership for fraud. Also you could contact an attorney to see if you can file a suit against the dealer for fraud and deceptive practices as well as his mechanic. Failure to disclose. Try to get it in writing the fact of the extension cord being in place.

    I hope you succeed.I'm really sorry this happened to you.Good Luck

  • frank
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    just rewire nthe headlight harness with the proper gauge buss wire and sockets, easy

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