All 50 states in the union have active laws that protect buyers of new cars. In many states they may be known by other names and how they have been enacted vary from state to state. Some states will only cover passenger vehicles while others will cover RVs and large trucks. In some states there are lemon laws that cover used cars, but those are few and far between. So what are lemon laws? Typically, a lemon law will say that anyone who buys a new car that is found to be defective can get remedies in certain instances. Your car is out of service for at least 30 days during the first year you own it for the same issue, or if your car goes in for unsuccessful repairs at least three or four times during the first 18 months or two years that you own it.
What Qualifies as a Defect?
In almost every state a defect must extensively impair the safety, value, or use of the car. While some defects may be quite easy to see such as engine and transmission failures, others are harder, falling into a gray area and not quite as easily proven such as excessive tire wear and water leaks. Generally, you must notify the manufacturer of the vehicle of the issue or issues which you feel make the car a lemon under your state’s lemon law. At that time, you must allow the manufacturer or the representative a reasonable amount of time to either repair the issue or to offer you a replacement vehicle or a full refund of the purchase price. If the manufacturer does not comply with any of these, you are well within your rights to obtain an attorney and start arbitration proceedings or to file a claim. The firm of Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® offers free consultations to get you started in the right direction.
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