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What to Do if Your Car is a Lemon

Is my car a lemon? Sadly, this is one of the most commonly asked questions drivers will find themselves facing after purchasing a new or used car. Buying a car is a big deal, and before you make the final commitment, you should understand your lemon law rights. Lemon law car varies from state to state, but luckily, laws regarding defective vehicles are present in all states. If you recently purchased a defective car, or you simply want to know about auto lemon law, continue reading to learn more.

Talk to the Seller

Before you start to freak out, you should first return your car to the dealer and explain the situation. Depending on the issue, they may offer to make free repairs to the car, but if you have spent your own money on repairs, you may need to provide documentation. According to lemon law car, manufacturers have one opportunity to repair safety-related issues. Car lemon law experts always recommend reviewing the warranty of your car before taking legal action.

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What do Lemon Laws Cover?

Car lemon law only references significant auto defects that impact your ability to drive your vehicle or that compromises driver safety. Lemon law rights also protect drivers in the event that a defect puts the vehicle out of service for 15 to 40 days. Cosmetic flaws, unusual sounds, and comfort-related issues are usually not covered by car lemon law. In short, it will not cover many of the following issues:

  • Poor paint job
  • Cracked or broken windows
  • Malfunctioning seat or window controls
  • Any unexplained noise, rattling, or shaking

In some states, lemon law car allows drivers to file a lawsuit against the seller of a defective vehicle. Depending on the area you reside in, your local car lemon law may require you to obtain the services of an attorney if you want to be reimbursed for your vehicle. Before taking action, you should take the time to read and understand lemon law rights in the state where you obtained your vehicle. More lenient car lemon law may allow you to file suit on your own as long as you have official paperwork.

Filing Suit Against the Seller of a Lemon

If you need to hire a car lemon law lawyer, you should choose one who has extensive experience trying defective auto cases. Most lawyers with experience in lemon law car will only charge if they win, and during trial, their legal knowledge will be valuable. For these reasons, many individuals find working with an auto lemon law attorney to be advantageous.

Lemon Laws and Used Car Drivers

Lemon law rights are not always helpful, and many drivers find themselves stuck with a defective vehicle, especially if the lemon they purchased is "used." Drivers of used lemons are significantly more likely to experience problems with their vehicle than drivers who purchase new cars. For this reason, the states listed below are the only ones currently covering used cars under lemon law car:

  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • New Mexico

In these jurisdictions, car lemon law requires sellers to include a used car warranty that takes the age and condition of the purchased vehicle into consideration. Drivers have extensive lemon law rights in these areas, and if anything goes wrong during the warranty period, the dealer or seller will have several chances to repair the issue. If the seller fails to repair the problem after multiple attempts, auto lemon law will require them to fully reimburse the buyer.

This is not the case in most states, and under most circumstances, used car owners only have lemon law rights if they find themselves in one of the following situations:

  • The lemon in question is stolen.
  • The car was salvaged after a flood or serious accident.
  • The car was used as a taxi or police vehicle.
  • The dealer or seller rolled the odometer back
  • The seller failed or refused to reveal relevant information about the vehicle's repair or maintenance history.

The Importance of Legal Aid

Lemon law car can be difficult to understand, as mentioned above, you will more than likely need a lawyer if you purchase a lemon. These individuals can help protect your lemon law rights, and get the justice you deserve if a seller or dealer sells you a defective vehicle. There are also numerous websites and consumer organizations that will provide you with a detailed history of your vehicle (free of charge). Buying a lemon can be a frustrating, saddening, and confusing experience, but with the aid of an attorney who specializes in car lemon law, you can get the justice you deserve and even the playing field.