Sellers of used cars cannot rely on wear and tear in legal disputes over repair costs if a specific condition of the parts in question has been agreed upon beforehand. If a contract contains information about a specific condition as well as an exclusion of any liability for material defects, the points should be considered separately, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Wednesday in Karlsruhe.

Specifically, it was about whether the seller of a car that was around 40 years old had to pay for repair costs due to a defective air conditioning system. According to the BGH, the sales advertisement stated: “The air conditioning system works perfectly. The sale takes place under the exclusion of any liability for material defects.” Since the air conditioning system was defective, the buyer of the classic car demanded the seller reimburse the repair costs.

He was unsuccessful with his lawsuit in the lower courts. The BGH overturned the judgment of the Limburg regional court, which had sided with the seller citing the age of the air conditioning system. The matter must now be renegotiated there.