: Major problems if you haven't picked up the car you bought.

08-29-05, 07:06 AM
Hey guys and gals.

Our buddy, O4CTSVFLA, is awaiting arrival of his recently purchased V. He's worried that incoming Hurricane Katrina may hurt his investment and he'll be out of luck since he has already paid in full.

Here's the law about buying cars and who assumes the risk when the car is not picked up right away. I know there are some other attorneys on here, so please correct me if I'm wrong. Here's the basics that may help.

Dear 04CTSVFLA, I'm 90% sure your state has adopted the entire Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) As long as you are NOT another car dealer yourself, the dealership is still responsible for your car while it sits on their lot. Even though it is being transported, they still carry that burden. They, not you, are in a better position to insure its safety and safe delivery. However, if you have arranged for the transport and or delivery, you assume that risk. Why? It's out of their control; you're the one handling it.

********it's also a different story when it comes to private parties buying/sellling cars. The general rule is that the buyer assumes the risk of damage or loss. The main question you need to ask is: Has the seller tendered delivery? That means is the car ready for you to drive it away. If there is still painting to be done or a part to be put in, it's not your responsibility until it's ready to roll. If you could have picked it up and didn't, it's your loss. Example:

Bob has a beautiful 05 CTS-V for sale. It's a very fast redline that has been tricked out by StealthV and MORE Performance, Inc. Dave sees the V parked in Bob's yard with a "for sale" sign on it. Dave loves the car and pays Bob $75,000 cash. (its had a lot of work done to it!) Dave tells Bob that he will be back later in the evening with his wife to pick it up. Bob says. "great, I'll have it right here for you." 10 minutes later a garbage truck backs into a tree next to Bob's yard. The tree snaps and falls, crushing the V as it lands. Dave returns later in the evening to pick up his car. (please select the right answer.)

A. Dave's concern about the wheel hop isn't really a big issue anymore.

B. Dave's wife will no longer let him shop without her.

C. Dave has a true case of "buyer's remorse."

D. Dave remembered the car looking different earlier in the day and now has a hunch that it might have been wrecked at one time.

E. Dave is out of luck. The U.C.C. says that the seller only needs to exercise reasonable care for the car until the buyer picks it up. Why? The seller is a private party and is not in the BUSINESS of selling cars; therefore, the seller would not have insurance, etc..... Seller can't leave the car sitting in the middle of the street, unlocked but he also has no duty to put it in the garage or put a car cover on it.

Hope this helps some of you. There are tons of cases out there where private parties do a deal and the seller escapes liability. Here's the best example I read in law school that I'll never forget. This case proves fact is better than fiction. It was a 1990's case. I think New York or California.

Facts: Doctor buys a newer BMW from his best friend. (former best friend) Best friend says, "hey, you want me to drive it to your place or we can let my boy get it cleaned up and detailed for you." Dr. opts for the son to detail the car while he makes room for it in his garage. Dr. pays with a check for $70K. It was a rare BMW 840 or something like that. Son, who was 17, takes the car to get it washed and detailed. The windows were left down while the car goes through the car wash unattended. Car wash says it's "sorry" and tells the son they can fix it. He leaves the car with them and calls a friend to come get him while they dry it out. Car wash tech guy drives BMW to a friend's house. They open the doors and put a propane heater in the car. Not drying as quickly as they hoped, they then close the doors and return two hours later after having lunch. Melted dash, cracked windows, passenger seat partially burned, you name it.

The court found that the Dr. was the owner of one F&%$$# up BMW. They said the "best friend" was not negligent and it was not forseeable that the car wash would leave the windows down and then have their brainiac of an employee put the interior of the car in the oven.

Moral of the story? When you buy a car from a private party, get it off their hands ASAP. While it's with them, it's YOUR car!

08-29-05, 08:54 AM
That's a long post

08-29-05, 09:31 AM
Thank you very much for explaining this. It relieves me but at the same time heightens new fears. I sent a certified check to Sewell Cadillac in New Orleans for 37000. Which they recieved sometime Friday. I arranged transport, but Kevin my sales guy said the soonest time the car would be available is Monday. So if the dealer said that Im protected under their insurance correct? And my transporter called me Saturday and rescheduled the pickup to Wednesday saying he can't pick it up and dtransport it during the storm. So am I ok. And how long and how big of a hassle is it going to be say my car is totalled?? I feel im going to be out 37,000 at least for some time. Is their any way something can happen to the car, like flood etc, and I would still have to buy it because I already sent the check and a deal was made? And how do I know something is going to haopppen and they will try everything they can to cover it up to lower their losses. Im so confused, pissed, and worried.