Do you feel as though a car that you purchased recently is a so-called “lemon”? If so, you should do something about it right away so that you don’t get stuck footing the bill for it.
For those who aren’t familiar with lemons, they’re cars that have manufacturing defects that prevent people from driving them from almost the moment they first buy them. Often times, those who purchase lemons end up spending a small fortune on them without getting the opportunity to use them very much.
Each individual state has a lemon law in place that is designed to provide compensation for those who buy lemons. You should look into the lemon law for cars in your specific state to see if your vehicle might be covered.
You should also learn everything you can about lemon laws in general. Here are seven things you need to know about lemon laws.
1. Your Chances of Buying a Lemon Are Low
There’s a pretty good chance that you’ll go through your entire life without ever having to worry about buying a lemon. Only about 1% of the cars that are manufactured each year are lemons.
With this in mind, you probably aren’t going to find yourself asking the question, “What is the lemon law in my state?”, at any point. But it’s still important for you to know about the lemon law for cars, just in case.
2. Your Car Must Meet Certain Criteria to Be Considered a Lemon
So, what is the lemon law for cars? It’s a good question for those who think they might have a lemon on their hands.
Generally speaking, there are a few important criteria that a car must need to fall into the “lemon” category. These criteria are:
- A car must have a manufacturing defect covered by the warranty on the vehicle and that defect must present itself within a certain period of time or a certain number of miles
- A car must continue to have the defect even after several different repair attempts are made
Some people think that a lemon is any car that breaks down as soon as they buy it. But in actuality, it typically takes some time for someone to see that they do, in fact, have a lemon.
3. Lemon Laws Usually Only Apply to New Cars
For the most part, you’re going to find that the lemon laws throughout the country only apply to new cars. There are six states, including Hawaii, New Jersey, and New York, with lemon laws on the books for used cars.
But you might not be completely out of luck if you purchased what you think is a lemon from a used car dealer. Many used cars come with limited warranties to make buyers feel more comfortable about purchasing them.
You can put a warranty on a used car to good use and try to have the car fixed up if there’s something wrong with it from the start. You’ll just have to hope that the problems with it don’t return once your warranty runs out.
4. Lemon Laws Often Cover You for At Least a Couple of Years
As we mentioned a few moments ago, it will take at least a few months for a lemon to present itself in most cases. You’re not going to know that a car is a lemon right away.
As a result, lemon laws are designed to provide consumers with protection for at least one or two years in most cases. This varies from one state to the next. But in general, most lemon laws protect consumers for one to two years or about 12,000 to 24,000 miles.
5. The Dealership That Sold You a Car Might Not Help Much With a Lemon
If you’re under the impression that your car is a lemon and you’re wondering, “How does the lemon law work?”, you might be tempted to run back to the dealership that sold you the car to complain. But you’ll usually run into a brick wall when you do this.
Instead, people should get in touch with the manufacturer of their vehicles. It’s the automaker that’s going to be responsible for investigating your claims about your car and making things right.
6. It’s Important to Hire a Lemon Law Lawyer to Help You Build a Case
In some instances, the automaker that manufactured your vehicle will make you a fair offer for it after finding a fatal flaw in your car. But other times, they will try to lowball you or try to get out of making things right with you altogether.
If this ever happens to you, you don’t have to settle for it. You can reach out to a local lemon law lawyer and ask, “What does the lemon law do—and can it get me compensated?” They can help you build a strong case and get you the settlement you deserve from your car’s manufacturer.
7. Getting Rid of a Lemon Doesn’t Happen Overnight
There are few things more frustrating than buying a brand-new car that you absolutely love…and then finding out that it’s a lemon. It’ll leave you with a sour taste in your mouth, and it might even deter you from buying a car from an automaker again.
This might lead you to believe that automakers would do everything in their power to take care of the situation in no time. But it can take a decent amount of time for them to work out the details and rectify the situation.
You might even be in for a long legal battle with an automaker. It’s why you need an experienced lawyer on your side ready to help you move things along.
Do You Think the Lemon Law Might Be Able to Help You?
If you have a new car that’s been giving you nothing but problems since you bought it, the lemon law in your state might apply to you. You may be able to seek compensation from your car’s manufacturer to avoid sinking a bunch of money into a vehicle that’s never going to be quite right.
Talk to a lemon car lawyer about what your options might be today. They can explain the lemon law in your state to you further and help you find a solution to your problem.
Read our blog to find some car-buying tips that might help you steer clear of purchasing a lemon in the first place.