web analytics
May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Used Car

Business-Halacha-logo

Noam had been driving his Toyota Camry for ten years and decided it was time to sell. The car was in good condition overall, but its age was beginning to show. There was a slow leak in the water, which had to be added to once a month; the padding on one of the seats was wearing through; the car had been in two accidents and the trunk door had been replaced; a seat belt was missing’ there were assorted dents and scratches on the outside; the tires and break pads were showing signs of wear and would soon have to be replaced; and the air conditioning was not as powerful as it used to be and there was a rattling sound when it was turned on, but Noam wasn’t sure if there was a real problem there.

Quite a list when you put it all on paper, but for a ten-year-old car it was certainly in decent shape. To the best of his knowledge, the motor worked fine.

Noam decided to sell his car directly, rather than through a used car salesman. He posted notices in his local newspaper and on the bulletin boards in some of the local yeshivas. A few people approached him about the car, but it remained untaken.

One of the issues that troubled Noam was the issue of disclosure. He wanted to be honest, emulating stories he had heard about the Chofetz Chaim, who would disclose any possible defect in his merchandise. He began to feel, though, that he was scaring away potential buyers by pointing out more than was expected. After all, it was a used car, ten years old, and couldn’t be expected to be in the same pristine condition as a new car.

He was talking to a friend who sold used cars, and was told: “Don’t disclose anything that you can get away with. Otherwise, you’ll never sell!”

This sounded wrong to him. He knew there were issues with the car and couldn’t ignore them in good faith. “Where is the balance in this issue?” Noam asked himself.

“How about discussing the issue with Rabbi Dayan?” his wife suggested. “Perhaps he can guide you.”

“That’s a great idea,” replied Noam.

Noam called Rabbi Dayan. “I’m selling my used car, which has certain issues,” said Noam. “What issues am I required to disclose of my own intiative, and what issues can I be quiet about?”

“A seller is not allowed to cheat the buyer or mislead him,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “If the merchandise is defective, the seller is required to disclose this to the buyer [C.M. 228:6]. The definition of ‘defective’ is dependant on time and place; whatever is considered by the local people as defective is treated as such.” (C.M. 232:6)

“Does that mean I’m required to point out every single scratch and dent?” asked Noam. “That seems excessive!”

“The seller is required to disclose to the buyer of his own initiative in any one of four situations,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “First, there are deficiencies that render the item not fit for proper use, such as a serious problem with the engine, chassis, or other significant mechanical component.”

“That’s obvious,” said Noam. “Ignoring that would render the whole sale invalid.”

“Second are items a buyer would be particular about but has no reason to assume should be an issue for such an item,” continued Rabbi Dayan. “For example, a slow water leak in a relatively new car would have to be disclosed, but in an old car not so. A missing seat belt would have to be mentioned, regardless.”

“The third situation is where the aggregate of the deficiencies reduce the value of the item 15 percent below the price it is being sold for,” added Rabbi Dayan. “That would be a violation of ona’ah, mispricing the item, even if each individual deficiency is not of great consequence.” (C.M. 227:1-2)

“What is the fourth situation?” asked Noam.

“Whatever is required by law, which becomes a common commercial practice, minhag hamedina [C.M. 201:1-2; 232:19; 331:2],” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Thus, if the law requires disclosing any accidents, one is required to do so.”

“What, then, do I not need to disclose?” asked Noam.

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Used Car”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.
Bibi Seals Nationalist Policy with Dore Gold Heading Foreign Ministry
Latest Judaism Stories
Leff-052215

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Staum-052215

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

Torah

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.

The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard

The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Why does the Torah use two different words for “to count,” and what does each indicate?

From Bemidbar on and in Nevi’im, the nation is viewed primarily by its component parts, the tribes

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

“A person who borrowed without a written loan document, even in the presence of witnesses, is believed with a heses – rabbinic – oath to say that he repaid,”

Business-Halacha-NEW

During the course of the year, though, political events in the Persian Gulf caused the cost of gasoline to rise. Prices climbed from $2.50 a gallon to $4.00.

“There is a diamond necklace that I wear on special occasions,” Mrs. Miller told her husband. “It was recently appraised at $6,000. If need be, we can give that as collateral.”

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

“The guiding principle regarding work terms is: hakol keminhag hamidina – everything in accordance with the common practice,” replied Rabbi Dayan.

“No, I can’t take more than $65,” protested Mrs. Fleisher. “You may not owe me more than that.”

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/used-car/2013/06/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: