Automakers sell approximately 17 million cars in the United States every year. Given that high number, some are defective. Mistakes occur during the manufacturing process.
Though buying a new car is an exciting life event, buying a lemon is a nightmare. A terrible car lurks in a car dealership lot, and if you buy it, you have to know what to do.
Have you recently purchased a bad car? You have options. Read on to find out what to do if you buy a lemon.
What Constitutes a Lemon
A lemon car is a new or used car that has problems beyond typical minor car issues. These problems are manufacturing defects that prohibit proper function and decrease driver safety.
In other words, a lemon is a broken car still under warranty that fails to function correctly despite multiple repairs. Though new cars are easier to classify as lemons, these used car lemon laws may also protect consumers.
Substantial defects are car problems that prevent the actual functioning of your vehicle. These issues may include improperly functioning brakes, broken seat belts, or a faulty steering system.
In most states, these defects must occur during the manufacturer’s warranty period. For every state, there is a specific mileage or time frame.
If you notice a substantial defect, the auto manufacturer has the opportunity to repair it. Most states allow for four repair attempts. For some serious car problems, however, the number of reasonable repairs may be one.
Should the issue not resolve after these repair attempts, you will then be able to classify your car as a lemon.
What to Do if You Think You Bought a Lemon
If you suspect you have a lemon on your hands, you must act fast. Waiting for serious car trouble to resolve itself may mean you lose your lemon law protection. The last thing you want is to be on the hook for costly repairs or be unable to receive a replacement.
Report Problems to the Dealership
The car dealership serves as your conduit to the car manufacturer. By notifying the dealership of any substantial car problems, you create a paper trail of notices and repairs.
Should the car be irreparable, you’ll need this documentation to receive compensation.
Consult Your State’s Lemon Laws
If you suspect your car is a lemon, you have to know the laws. There are 92 million cars manufactured worldwide every year. Every state has a different way of handling defective automobiles.
Knowing your state’s laws helps you find a path forward.
Write the Manufacturer and Hire a Lawyer
After the repair attempts fail, your next step is to write the manufacturer. This letter will start the buy-back process, though car companies and dealerships are often unwilling to refund defective cars.
Hiring a lemon law lawyer will help you file a consumer complaint and expedite the buy-back process.
You’re Not Stuck With a Terrible Car
Lemon laws exist to protect you from a terrible car. If you think you have a lemon remember that the law is on your side.
Act fast and lawyer up. There is no reason for you to drive an unsafe or defective automobile.
Do you need more automotive advice? Make sure to check out the rest of our page.