web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A general view of the Bat Ain community at Gush Etzion.
US Pushes PA Agenda and Tells Israel to Cancel New Gush Etzion Town
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

“Do I have to repay the loan?” he asked. “Does Yosef have to reimburse me? What if doesn’t have that sum, does he owe me in the future?”

When Yoram got home that evening, he went over to Effy: “My day camp is looking for extra supervision for an overnight trip,” he said. “Would you like to come? They’re paying $250 for the trip.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “If you pay monthly – it’s $4,500; if you pay six months up front – I’ll give it to you for $4,200.”

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

“It is sometimes possible through hataras nedarim, nullification of vows,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but it’s not simple for charity pledges.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: