Answers to your car questions
Dear Mr. O’Sullivan. I have a question for you. I bought a 2007 Honda 420 ATV from a local person. The ATV was considered the son’s machine but the ownership was in the father’s name and he was the one who I dealt with for the transaction. I bought the machine on Sept. 15, 2016 a couple of weeks before I went hunting with it. I was assured that this machine was ready to go. The oil was changed on the engine and the oil was also changed on the rear and front differential. He said that the oil was always changed in the differentials when driven through mud. The bearings and seals were done front and back.
Days after I bought it, I went to adjust the back brakes. When I took the cover off to look at the brakes, it was full of oil. I went and purchased a bearing and seal kit for the back differential and asked the seller’s son if he would consider helping me change it because I was running out of time before I was going hunting and he readily agreed. The night that he came to help me, he admitted that he never did put a seal in the differential when he had it apart, which is why there was oil in the brake chamber. We realized however, that the parts store gave me the wrong parts the night he came to give me a hand. He didn’t have time to help me after that so I put it together myself. We parted on good terms that night but the trouble really started while hunting with the machine. This machine is a foot shift and it started to shift really hard, and many times I was not able to get it out of gear. I adjusted it and it would be a little better but get worse as time went on. The second day of riding, the battery got so hot it TUPQQFE XPSLJOH * lHVSFE PVU UIBU UIF SFDUJlFS RVJU XPSLJOH BOE PWFSDIBSHFE UIF CBUUFSZ * CPVHIU B SFDUJlFS GSPN )POEB
and installed it myself.
Long story short, this past winter I took it to a mechanic and the bill came to $2500 with tax. He pointed out many things that were put together wrong and that many parts were needed. The mechanic went to change the rear differential bearing that connects to the drive shaft. He showed NF IPX UIF EJGGFSFOUJBM JT OPU lYBCMF CFDBVTF TPNFPOF IBE
welded it to keep it going and he also noticed how there was rust on the gears, which means that the owner’s claim of changing oil regularly can’t be true. 8IFO UIF NFDIBOJD UPPL JU BQBSU UP lOE UIF TIJGUJOH
problem, he found bolts that were put in wrong places. The timing chain tensioner was bolted tight so the tensioner broke and wedged up in the chain, which kept it tight. If that had not happened, it would have killed the engine. I called the previous owner right after the mechanic called me. I explained what the mechanic had said and that the estimate was around $1800. I asked the seller if there was anything that they could do to help me considering that that he assured me that I was buying a great working machine at the time of the sale. He said he would talk to his son and get back to me. When the mechanic called to say that the machine was ready to be picked up, I still hadn’t heard from the previous owner. I then picked up the machine and paid half the bill with the agreement to pay the other half later.
I called a friend who agreed to go with me to speak to the previous owner. When we arrived, his younger son answered the door. He informed us that his dad would be arriving home in about an hour. We arrived back at his house just as the father arrived as well. They said that they thought that they had sold a good machine and were sorry that I was having trouble with it but won’t be helping with the cost. I proceeded to show XIBU XBT lYFE PO UIF NBDIJOF TIPXJOH
him the old parts and the bill explaining in detail all the parts and labor. I appealed to his conscience by explaining that I bought the machine locally from him because I could trust his word. I would not have bought the machine had I known it needed so much work. Since I am a farmer and the seller is a local salesman working for a local company, I thought that he would stand on his word. As we were leaving, he said that he would talk to his son and get back to me and that maybe they would do something for me but certainly not pay half as I requested.
A week later, he placed two letters in my mailbox indicating that he would not help with the cost. I have read an earlier article that you published in The Record explaining the difference between selling a vehicle “as is” and “for parts only”. As this is a lot of money for me, my question to you is whether you can help me? Thanks for your consideration!
Sanford from Millbank ANSWER
Unfortunately, that machine or any type of small recreational vehicle does not require under law to have any type of safety inspection before being sold. It is up to the buyer to have the machine inspected before they purchase it. Some courts may consider the fact that you were told prior to the sale that the machine was in good condition but it would have to be proven that the owner knew that not to be true. The time and cost to prove that legally could very well exceed the cost of the machine. There has been a case where a vehicle was sold under the Ministry guidelines As IS and the owner knew that the vehicle could OPU CF DFSUJlFE XIJMF BU UIF TBNF UJNF
assuring the buyer in writing that the vehicle was in great shape and would be very easy to certify. That complicated case ended up forcing the seller to give back the money for the vehicle. I cannot give you any legal advice but I do not see any legal grounds for you to pursue the seller in your case.
PS: To my readers: If possible, it would be appreciated if your emails would indicate the town, city or village that you live in.
Please be advised that all emails cannot be answered. Send your questions (be sure to include your address) by email to:: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail: Box 10019, Winona, ON L8E 5R1