One thing is true: The newer and lower mileage the vehicle, the better your chance of succeeding on a used vehicle complaint. When is a vehicle too old or too high mileage to pursue a claim? I rarely make a claim on behalf of a consumer where the vehicle has more than 80,000 miles and/or is more than 5 years old except for special circumstances. Some of these circumstances are listed below.
Odometer. Odometer rollback claims do not have any mileage limits although no odometer disclosure is required for vehicles that are 10 model years or older. However, if a seller makes an odometer disclosure, it must be accurate.
Immediate Revocation. The cancellation of a vehicle purchase within 30 days may be successful IF you have good cause. Although there is no 3, 5 or 30 day right of cancellation for the purchase of a vehicle I have successfully overcome the “As Is NO Warranty” Defense in some circumstances. Those circumstances have involved dealer fraud in the sale; or dealer misrepresentation of the age, mileage or condition of the vehicle. Of course, these circumstances are very fact specific and you should obtain the assistance of an attorney to pursue this remedy.
Certified Vehicle/Extended Warranty. Certified Used Vehicles offer warranty protection like a New Vehicle and the Certification protection gives you almost the same remedies as if you buy a New Vehicle. Repetitive problems with a vehicle or the failure of the selling dealer or another repair ship to honor the warranty are the most common complaints in this category.
Commercial Trucks and Diesel Engines. Of course, diesel engines and commercial trucks would be considered differently than passenger vehicles. Because of their longer life and durability these vehicles would be expected to last longer, both in miles and years.
Salvage, Flood and Wreck vehicles. IF you believe that your vehicle was involved in a flood, collision or salvage situation before you bought it and you were not told about it you may have a claim for that misrepresentation. If your vehicle was bought by a manufacturer from an earlier consumer it is probably a Lemon and you should have been notified of this fact before you bought it. If you did not receive such a disclosure you should have a cause of action. And remember that a CarFax report is NOT conclusive evidence as to whether the vehicle was in a flood or wreck or Undisclosed Lemon.