SW Legal studies in Business

Used Car Buyer Fails to Prove Dealer Liability for Alleged Previous Undisclosed Wreck
Description Appeals court affirmed the dismissal of a suit by a consumer who bought a used car as is and later claimed that the car had been in an accident before the purchase and that fact was not revealed. There was no evidence that even if the claim was true that there was any breach of warrant or fraud on the part of the seller.
Topic Consumer Protection
Key Words Service Contract; Implied Warranty; Breach of Warranty; Deception
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts After a test drive, Priebe bought a used car as is (no warranty) from The Autobarn. Autobarn told Priebe that the car had been inspected and that it had not been in any accidents. Through Autobarn, Priebe bought a service plan from Automobile Protection Corporation (APCO), an unaffiliated company. Priebe later crashed the car and claimed that it had damage from a previous accident that made it dangerous to drive. He sued Autobarn. The district court dismissed the case. Priebe appealed.
Decision Priebe had reviewed the sales contract and knew that he bought the car as is and that Autobarn had no obligation for service. The service contract from APCO was not related to the subsequent events, so there can be no claim of fraud or breach with respect to Autobarn and the APCO contract. The service contract created no implied warranties by Autobarn. There was no breach of implied warranty of merchantability with respect to a prior accident since Priebe had driven the car more than 30,000 miles before he wrecked it. He had not complained that there was a dangerous condition before the accident. There is no evidence that the value of the car was affected by any prior accidents and Priebe did not show that Autobarn had known of any prior accidents, so there is no breach of warranty claim.
Citation Priebe v. Autobarn, Ltd., 240 F.3d 584 (7th Cir., 2001)

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