Car Sale As Is

A listener wants to know what it means if a car is sold “as is”.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Listener Janice R wants to know if a Pennsylvania resident sells a car to a California resident and the buyer and seller agreed the car was sold “as is” can the buyer pursue action to recover costs related to making repairs to the car? Janice, if you’re using language like “pursue action to recover costs” it makes me worried for you that someone is trying to get their money back.

For the most part though, in a sale by a non-dealer, “as is” means the car is being sold despite its faults and the seller is not liable for the cost of repairs. But saying it’s “as is” doesn’t protect a seller from claims of fraud or of failure to disclose a material defect; in many states including California it may be the seller’s obligation to disclose something like it won’t pass emissions inspection even if the buyer didn’t specifically ask. I do hope for your sake, Janice, this is an interesting hypothetical and not an actual claim against you.

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