Consumers buy a new or used car and sometimes get a lemon. It is a car that needs constant repairs and never seems to run correctly. Often, the car comes with a warranty and, for used cars, a limited warranty. The law protects consumers from buying a car that does not meet safety performance standards. There are federal and state lemon laws. According to NOLO, most state lemon laws apply to new cars and used cars. About 1% of new cars purchased are lemons and have constant repairs that cannot be fixed.
Federal And State Lemon Laws
The federal law requires that you keep repair records of the car in the first two years to prove you have not been able to fix it. The new or used car should be under some type of warranty for this to be a valid claim. The repairs should have been made in the first one or two years of owning it. You should keep records of how long the car was undrivable and why. This is important documentation you will need if you go to court. Your car should be repaired by the dealer. This holds the manufacturers liable for the damages. With laws in effect, you may be qualified for a refund, cash damages, or even a replacement vehicle.
Ways to Resolve the Conflict
Leased vehicles are also covered under these laws, often a fact that consumers do not know. Consider hiring an attorney for your case, as some specialize in lemon law. Some attorneys do not charge you a fee unless they win your case. You should provide proof of warranty, repairs, and when you purchased the vehicle. You may not be eligible if your car has no warranty and is beyond repair. In cases where the consumer wins, the attorney will be paid by the car manufacturer. Before you go to court, it is advised you contact the manufacturers to see if they offer an acceptable solution. If they do not, you will often have to go through an arbitration program before going to court. This is a dispute resolution service as an alternative to going to court. The Better Business Bureau often recommends arbitration services for consumers.
Your purchase contract or warranty may have an arbitration clause, so check with the manufacturer before you contact a lawyer. Some states recommend using the Better Business Bureau arbitration recommended services to settle. Often, when cases cannot be settled, it is a good idea to contact a lemon law lawyer to get help with your case.