Yesterday, I bought a 1992 Honda Civic EX for my daughter. I test
drove the car and everything appeared fine. I also test drove several
others. I talked to the previous owner and looked at previous repair
records on this vehicle. Any way, today I returned with my daughter
to sign papers and pick up the car. I had the dealer change the oil,
water pump and the timing belt as the car has 116,000 miles on it. I
asked the dealer when signing papers if he had driven the car and if
he felt the brakes needed anything done to them and he replied "no".
Tonight after my daughter drove the car home, I took it for a test
drive and noticed after driving a short distance the ABS light comes
on and stays on. I checked on the internet about ABS problems and
heard the "horror" stories about the expense to repair these. I feel
that I have been somewhat ripped off by a used car dealer, but maybe I
am overly concerned about the ABS problem. Please advise me as to
what I should do??? My daughter already owes me big time for the car
and the work I have had done on it. Thanks for any and all help. Dana
On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 20:54:07 -0700, against all advice, something
compelled email@example.com, to say:
People have been stopping cars without ABS for a long time now.
A talented driver can stop a car shorter without ABS than with.
I'd get an estimate, and if it is prohibitively expensive I'd
ignore it, assuming the car stops at all.
Not sure where you are, but most areas now have Lemon Laws, which require
the dealer to fix any such problems that show up within a certain amount of
time. Go back to the dealer, show them the light, and tell them you want
On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 00:17:38 -0400, against all advice, something
2007 - 1992 = 15. Run off you your nearest Honda dealer and
raise a ruckus over a fifteen year old used car that is
indicating a fault. I'm sure the dealer will fall all over
itself in fear of violating some lemon law.
On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 01:09:37 -0400, against all advice, something
Lemon laws apply to new cars, not fifteen year old You Buy Here
You Pay Here cars.
But please, let us know if your White Knight Riding To The Rescue
tactics get you laid. I mean, after all, whatever works.
Laws vary by state, but Joe is certainly right about NY. As long as
you paid at least $1500 for the car, you should have a 30 day warranty
on the major components. If you don't live in NY, check with your
state's Attorney General's Office.
Joe LaVigne, wrote the following at or about 7/27/2007 2:46 AM:
I'll be damned. New York State DOES have a used car Lemon Law which
reads, in pertinent part
"Under the law, a used car is one which satisfies all the following five
(1) It was purchased, leased or transferred after the earlier of (a)
18,000 miles of operation or (b) two years from the date of original
(2) It was purchased or leased from a New York dealer; and
(3) It had a purchase price or lease value of at least $1,500; and
(4) It had been driven 100,000 miles or less at the time of purchase or
(5) It is primarily used for personal purposes."
Two questions and only one counts for anything in this discussion.
1) what makes you think he purchased the car in NY State?
2) He DID say that the car has 116,000 miles on the odometer so... it's
automatically excluded from the lemon law under para 4 above
I did not know which state the car was bought in, which is why I said "some
states". And while I did know the mileage, I didn't bother to research the
letter of the NY law to know the cutoff mileage, which is why I recommended they
check their local laws.
In my original response, all I did was offer an avenue for research. I made no
claims as to the specifics of her case, as I didn't know enough specifics to
give such advice.
Joe LaVigne, wrote the following at or about 7/27/2007 12:09 AM:
Actually (at the risk of incurring your wrath) that's not correct, Joe.
"Lemon Laws" typically are in place to hole the feet of the
MANUFACTURER to the fire when your shiny NEW car spends more time in the
shop than it does on the road or your garage. Even then, "Lemon Laws"
take effect only after a set number of attempts by the manufacturer or
his rep (dealer) have been made to repair the problem. That number of
required attempts varies by state.
With a used car dealer his only recourse is to pursue any warranty which
was offered or purchased. Seems unlikely that he could prove fraud in
this case. The brakes work and apparently there was no indication of
impending failure when the deal was struck - assuming the purchaser
drove the used car, right? Problems with ABS MAY be intermittent but,
then again, what notice do you have the FIRST time there's a problem?
Right! The trouble light comes on. That trouble light is NOT something
you can typically jerry-rig to remain off until you sell the car. So,
once again, the warranty, if any, is his recourse. If he bought it
"As-is" then, of course, he owns a car with a failing ABS system and
it's his problem alone.
In NY, the Lemon Law clearly covers used cars. They were pursued by lobbyists
in NY in an effort to keep used car dealers a bit more honest. As I originally
stated, and another poster has stated since, your local laws may (and will)
vary, but it is quite worth it to find out what those laws cover.
I have personally had a used car dealer correct such problems on my previous car
(1997 Caravan) within a week of buying, as it was required by law.
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