latent defect

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

A hidden flaw, weakness, or imperfection that cannot be discovered by reasonable inspection. It may refer to real property (a hidden defect in the title to land) or personal property (a defect in the steering mechanism of a car). Discovery of a latent defect generally entitles the purchaser to a refund or a nondefective replacement. Compare: patent defect

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.