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A lesson in car purchasing: $800 claim dismissed using ‘buyer beware’ policy

After purchasing a car in Kelowna, a woman claimed the seller was not honest with her

A woman will be not be compensated $800 after purchasing a used car in Kelowna and claiming the seller misrepresented the condition of the car.

Melissa Silva purchased a 2010 Kia Forte car in August 2018, which had 132,000 kilometres, according to Civil Resolution Tribunal documents.

Upon inspecting the car, Silva and her boyfriend test drove it for 20 minutes, and didn’t notice anything wrong with it other than a cracked windshield and damaged tail light, the documents read.

READ MORE: Hergott: The financial cost of a car crash

After the windshield and tail light were fixed, Silva bought the car, but as she was driving to Vernon, she noticed something wasn’t right.

After taking the car to the mechanic, the mechanic determined the brake pads with thin and rotors were rusty. Silva said she was not aware of these problems prior to the sale of the car.

She claims she is owed $800 for the replacement of the brakes, however, Sarah Orr, tribunal member ruled that “(Silva) says the applicant may have caused the problems with the brake pads and rotors after she bought the car but provided no evidence to support this claim. Although the evidence is unclear on this point, there is nothing to suggest the worn-down brake pads and rotors were caused by anything other than normal wear and tear.”

READ MORE: Hergott: Filing a personal injury claim

The sale of the car is governed by a “buyer beware” policy, meaning the buyer must assess the condition of a vehicle before purchasing it. A seller does not have to tell the buyer about defects the buyer could determine by reasonably inspecting a vehicle.

The tribunal deals with claims under $5,000.


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