How do Lemon Laws Protect My Automobile Purchase?
Lemon laws protect consumers who purchase defective automobiles. When you buy a new car, it should be free from substantial manufacturing defects. If it has serious defects, which cannot be permanently repaired in a reasonable amount of time, then the car's manufacturer is obligated to replace or otherwise compensate you for your car.
How Do I Know if My Car is a Lemon?
Lemon laws vary from state to state. Some states have lemon laws only for new cars, while other states include used cars. Most states have lemon laws that say a car is a "lemon" if the car:
- Needed a certain number of repairs within a specified period of time or specified number of miles
- Has been "in the shop" for more than a certain number of days
The number of repairs, period of time, number of miles, and number of days are all specified by state law, so be sure to check your local lemon laws.
I Think My Car is a Lemon. What Should I Do?
The first thing you should do is contact the manufacturer of your car and the dealer who sold it to you. Tell them about your problem and that you intend to invoke the lemon laws of your state. The dealer or manufacturer may offer to work out the problem with you right then and there.
If that doesn't work, some states require you and your dealer and/or manufacturer to then engage in arbitration. In arbitration, you and your dealer and/or manufacturer sit down with a neutral mediator who tries to resolve your problem. In states where arbitration is not required or the arbitrator's decision is not binding, you can sue the dealer and/or manufacturer directly. Going to court can be very difficult, so you may want to consult a lawyer.
Remedies of Lemon Laws
If you successfully show that your car is a lemon, the dealer or manufacturer will have to do one of the following:
- Refund the cost of the vehicle minus an amount of money for the car's use up to that point
- Replace the car
- Pay for all the necessary repairs
Your state law will determine which of these options is available to your dealer or manufacturer.
Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me with My Lemon Law Problem?
Lemon laws can be complex and often frustrating to understand. To make matters worse, lemon laws vary from state to state. Having an attorney help you with your lemon law problem can make your life easier. An experienced lemon law attorney will know how to get the results you want, and bring a lawsuit on your behalf if needed.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 11-18-2009 10:11 AM PST
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