Buying a new car may be the happiest moment of your life. You finally have the vehicle you wanted and needed, and you’re ready to take on the road and have new, amazing experiences. In some instances, though, this happiness can be ruined in an instant when you realize your car is defective. It’s very likely that you ended up with a lemon car. The main issue with this, apart from the obvious problems with the car, is the fact that getting your money back is not always possible, or it is very difficult to do so.
In this scenario, you may want to know a bit more about lemon laws and how they can help you. Once you realized your car is a lemon, you should take steps to use the lemon law to your advantage. If you don’t know how lemon laws work, this guide will tell you more about them.
When Is a Car Considered a Lemon?
Cars are considered lemons in the following situations:
- They have a lot of issues and don’t work properly, and they are covered by a warranty for a certain period or a specific number of miles after purchase
- Despite the attempts to repair them, they’re still not fixed and nothing seems to work
It’s important to bear in mind that the defect must have happened randomly, and not as a result of your abuse in order for it to be considered a lemon and benefit from the lemon laws. On top of that, the car should experience big issues either during the first 1-2 years after you bought it or within 12,000 – 24,000 miles.
What Exactly Is the Lemon Law?
Lemon laws are in place for people who purchased new cars that ended up being defective too soon despite being taken care of. They do not meet performance and quality standards.
Thus, lemon laws act as a solution for purchases of defective cars. Every state has its own lemon laws and can help cover vehicles that are discovered to be problematic.
Is There a Time Limit to Make a Claim under the Lemon Law?
In general, you should be able to tell when the car is defective not long after you purchased it. Problems will generally arise early. This is why, under the lemon law, you should be able to act soon as you’ll know immediately whether your car is having issues or not.
Under federal law, there should have been attempts to fix the issues during the first one or two years of owning the car. Then, the manufacturer should have tried to fix the problem multiple times, generally around 3-4 times without being successful. Also, you shouldn’t have been able to use the car for at least 30 days due to reparations, and they don’t necessarily have to be consecutive days.
Thus, making a claim under the lemon law should happen within the first year or two after you noticed the issues and tried having them fixed to no avail. The sooner you make your lemon law claim, the higher your chances of getting a good result will be.
What Are the Requirements for Lemon Law Claims?
The main requirements for making a claim under the lemon law include:
- Having a new car that already experiences significant issues within the first 1-2 years after purchase
- Trying to repair the car at least 3-4 times with no success
- Being unable to use the car for 30 days due to repairs
However, there are some other things you should keep in mind before you make a claim:
Keeping Detailed Records
Whenever you try to fix your car, you should obtain a good record of this event. Then, it’s crucial to keep detailed records of every time you tried to repair your car if you want to have great chances of being successful in court.
You should prove that there were multiple attempts to fix it to no avail. Also, this should help you prove for how long you weren’t able to use your vehicle due to the repair attempts and the issues experienced.
Only Consider Dealerships for Car Repairs
If you want to be able to be protected under the lemon law, you should only consider taking it to dealerships for repairs. Taking another mechanic will hinder your chances of using the lemon law to your advantage. Not to mention that it doesn’t make the manufacturer responsible for the work.
Hiring an Attorney
Hiring an attorney will help you deal with the lemon law claim, especially considering car manufacturers also have their own lawyers to help them in a case like this. If you don’t fully understand lemon laws and how they work, having an experienced attorney by your side could help you a lot in court.
For example, David from California bought a lemon car, and after attempting to have it fixed 4 times, no good result came out of it. He hired an attorney from CaliforniaLemonLawGuide and went to court. The lawyer not only gave him the necessary peace of mind in court, but it also helped him win the case. As a result, the manufacturer had to handle the attorney costs.
What Should You Do If You Bought Lemon Car?
Once you realized you’ve purchased a lemon, you should take action. First things first, you should check your state’s lemon laws. The federal laws are different in each state, that’s why it’s important to check the laws that apply to your case.
After you check the laws, you should seek legal advice and hire an attorney, and you should also start building your case as soon as you can. Save every single receipt from the auto repair and also keep records of every service that was done to the car, while telling your dealer about the car’s issues. If you take action sooner, you will have greater chances of getting your money back.
Lemon laws can be hard to understand at first. Still, checking your state’s laws should help you get a grasp of them, especially if you seek legal advice from an attorney who can explain the legal process to you. Make sure to keep all records and your court case may be successful.