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Lemon Laws

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Lemon Laws

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Lemon Laws

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Lemon Laws refer to the many laws in place across the country that protect consumers from finding themselves stuck with a faulty vehicle that begins to show signs of defect shortly after purchase, aka a “lemon.” Cars are one of the most expensive purchases people can make; it’s important to know what kind of protections are in place to protect consumers from losing money on a defective or broken vehicle. Every state in the United States has its own lemon laws, which could vary from one another, so it’s a good idea to research the guidelines where you live to figure out how to go about recuperating from the financial damage of being sold a defective vehicle.

In most cases, if you have been sold a defective vehicle, you have certain rights which could include being compensated by the manufacturer for the defective car. It’s important to record the issues your car is exhibiting, including the dates those issues occurred. This information can enable you to prove the inadequacies of the vehicle you were sold and qualify you to have the manufacturer buy the vehicle back or offer an equivalent monetary replacement if they are not able to properly repair the defect. It’s important to note that lemon laws apply to leased vehicles as well.

Common Requirements for a Vehicle to Qualify as a Lemon

Several requirements must be met in order to prove that a vehicle is officially considered a lemon, which the dealer, lender, or manufacturer is liable for compensating. The exact requirements may vary from state to state but generally exist in one similar form or another. It’s important to note that taking a defective vehicle to any mechanic other than the dealer could result in the car becoming ineligible for coverage under Lemon Law.

Let’s go over some common factors that must be true for a vehicle to qualify as a lemon according to

  • The defects occurred within a certain number of months from purchase or miles driven.
  • The defect must be major; defects that qualify a car as a lemon must affect the actual operation of the car, commonly including issues such as ignition, brakes, and engine or transmission issues.
  • The car owner or leasing party must have given a qualified mechanic from that dealership multiple chances to repair the problems.
  • The vehicle must have spent a certain number of days within a one-year period in a mechanic shop, often around one month.

Who is Responsible for a Lemon?

The liable party under lemon law can vary based on a variety of factors, including the state in which the lemon was sold and who is decided to be responsible for the defect. As a general rule of thumb, the party responsible for the warranty on the car is usually liable for any defects that may qualify the vehicle as a lemon. In most cases, this is the manufacturer. Purchasing a warranty from the dealership is a good way to ensure that the dealer will be responsible to fix any defects with a lemon, even when lemon law wouldn’t otherwise have held them liable.

Lemon Laws Can Vary Widely Between States

Due to the vast variety and complexity of lemon laws, it’s a good idea to contact a lemon law attorney in your state to evaluate your case and seek compensation for your damages. Lemon law attorneys are well-versed in the technicalities of the law and will know what kind of evidence to collect regarding your car’s defect in order to hold the liable party responsible and protect you from further financial loss. It is even possible that if your car does not officially qualify as a “lemon” but is still proven to have significant damages, a lemon law attorney could help you seek cash compensation for the diminished value of the vehicle. Most lemon law attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency.

If you or a loved one have experienced financial stress as a result of a vehicle exhibiting defects after purchase, seek legal counsel to learn more about your situation and what an attorney can do for you.

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