Is this illegal in NH?

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I recently purchased a 2000 Volvo in the state of NH, it was “guaranteed” to me by mouth to pass inspection. The car was sold to me from a dealership with no warranty and “as-is”. The car came inspected and with a 20 day red plate. After I registered it, I brought it to an inspection place and they said it failed horribly due to the brakes and one of the belts being excessively cracked. However they told me it was illegal for the dealership to sell me an inspected car with a 20 day plate when it was unsafe and did not pass inspection. (Can’t tell it’s unsafe by driving, but I guess the brakes are bad). The inspection guy said I was to go to the dealership and that they would have to pay for the repairs because it is illegal what they did. Is this true even though it was sold no warranty?

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Also in NH if it will NOT pass inspection and is “AS IS” they must list the defects (this must be signed by you and filed with the state) and cannot issue a 20-day “red” plate as issuing one is implying it is safe for highways use

  2. Look at NH Title XXI MOTOR VEHICLES Chapter 266 Equipment of Vehicles Inspections…. Section 266:1 IV
    ……A Used vehicle for which a dealer has issued a 20-day plate pursuant to RSA 261:109 shall be inspected by the dealer or an authorized inspection station on behalf of the dealer at the time of the attachment of the plate.

  3. Hi Ryan,

    I’ve never heard of a “red plate” – assume this is something unique to NH.

    Generally, “as is” means you’re out of luck (legally) if the car breaks down after purchase or requires repairs. You have no proof the seller guaranteed anything. It’s just your word against the seller’s – which probably won’t go far in small claims court, if it went that far. Most used cars are sold with “as is” implied, even if not formally stated. If the seller can produce a bill of sale with “as is” on it – and your signature – forget it.

    However, when a dealer sells a car (as opposed to a private individual) some states do require that the vehicle pass safety/emissions inspection prior to sale.

    If that’s the case in NH – if the dealer sold it to you with a fresh sticker for safety/emissions – and the car has defective/unsafe brakes – you may be able to get something done.

    First thing to do is check the law about used car sales by a dealer in NH. If the law is on your side, the next step is to confront the dealer and say: Look, you sold this car to me with a fresh emissions/safety check, but it turns out the car has defective/dangerous brakes. You need to fix it – or agree to give me a refund for the amount necessary to get it fixed. If they give you any hassle, tell them: Ok, I’ll have to tell the state cops (or DMV) and let them handle it. No dealer wants that hassle. It’s a pretty major bust to “pass” a vehicle that shouldn’t have been passed; if they had their guy just slap a sticker on that Volvo and the state finds out, they will be in the shit.

    But, in any case, this is an example of buyer beware. Always – always – check out a car very closely (or have it checked by someone you trust) prior to purchase.

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