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How the Car Lemon Law Can Help You

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Filed under Automotive, Automotive Help

A lemon with wheels representing a defective vehicle. Shallow depth of field focus on fron wheel and front of lemon.

If you have a new car and have been repeatedly having the same issues with it you probably got yourself a lemon. If you have tried to have the issue fixed several times and the problem persists, you may be looking into the possibility of having the dealership take it back or send it directly to the manufacturer.

If, on the other hand, you are about to purchase a used car, you would like whoever is selling it to you to fully disclose its history of problems and repairs. You may not want to buy it if it looks like you will be getting a car that is a lemon.

How can lemon laws protect you when buying a new car?

For a new car to qualify as a lemon, it must have a substantial defect that became apparent within a certain period of time or number of miles and, even multiple repair attempts by the dealer, still be present. The defect must be substantial to such a degree that it impacts the car value and it must still exist even after several attempts by the dealership to fix it.

Can lemon laws allow you to get a refund or a replacement car?

If the requirements mentioned above are met, you have the right to a refund or replacement from the manufacturer. The manufacturer must first be advised of the defect and, if their reply is not satisfactory you must go to arbitration before going to court. Opt for a state consumer protection agency arbitration instead of one selected by the manufacturer. Gather as much documentation as possible to support your case.

How can car lemon laws help you when buying a used car?

There is no reason to believe that used cars have had all their kinks removed and will be free of any major issues when being resold. And before you buy you would like to be sure that the car you are about to get has not been improperly maintained, abused, or repaired poorly in the past. You also need to know if, after being in an accident, the car was tampered with in some way or if the real number of miles on it has been concealed.

Used Car Lemon Laws

Due to the increasing number of used cars that end up being lemons, states have started implementing used car lemon laws. These require a used-car warranty, offering a 30-day or 1,000-mile period that gives the seller the opportunity to fix the defect. If that is not resolved, it allows buyers to return their cars for a full refund if they turn out to be lemons.

Sadly, these laws are not enforced nationwide and, in some instances, they only apply if the vehicle exhibits major issues.

How do you determine if you have a lemon?

If buying a used car, run a check through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and find out if there are any hidden issues associated with the car. Take the car to a reputable mechanic and have it checked out. And if you get stuck with a lemon, learn more here about how an experienced lemon-law lawyer can help you with your case, particularly if you are concerned about the vehicle’s safety.


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