When you buy a new vehicle and you’ve hardly had it for any time before it starts to repeatedly break down, you might say that you’ve bought a ‘lemon.’
The last thing that you want when you spend money on a car is to find out that some manufacturing defects render it useless. Not only will this hit your purse-strings hard, but it could also cost you your life if the defect causes an accident.
So, where do you stand legally when a car that you buy is defective? Thankfully the lemon law is there to protect you. But how does the lemon law work?
In this article, we discuss the lemon law and how you know when a car is a lemon.
Exactly What is the Lemon Law?
The lemon law is a piece of legislation designed to protect consumers who are buying vehicles. It also protects those that are taking out lease hire agreements.
The legislation is there for people that buy vehicles that have a serious defect which might make it dangerous to drive. It is also there to cover motorists whose vehicles spend much of their time in the repair shop.
When a vehicle has a serious fault that makes it dangerous to drive, it may need to be repaired by the manufacturer. If this is not possible, the vehicle might end up spending a lot of time in the garage.
If the car spends too much time in the garage because of ongoing issues, then the manufacturer must buy the car back.
The lemon law does vary between different states, however, on the whole, the requirements are that all automobile manufacturers repurchase any new vehicle with a significant defect that cannot be repaired within a reasonable timeframe.
When is a Car a Lemon?
It is important to clarify that not every defective car is classified as a lemon. So, what is the lemon law definition?
There are two main points that the lemon law covers.
- When a new vehicle has one single serious fault or defect that makes it unsafe to drive and causes a reduction in its value
- When a new vehicle has to spend at least 30 days in the garage because it has a series of issues affecting the ability to drive it
For cars in the repair shop over 30 days, this can be consecutively, or in one go.
How Does the Lemon Law Work?
When you buy a new vehicle, it will be covered by its warrant. During this period, you would ordinarily return the vehicle to the manufacturer or the dealer and you would expect this to be addressed.
Faults to occur in a small percentage of vehicles, and you’d expect these to be addressed and remedied easily. You shouldn’t expect these to return.
When an issue is ongoing, the lemon law is there to protect the consumer and ensure that they get the resolution that they deserve.
It is essential to know exactly what the lemon law covers.
There are several factors that the law considers:
- The type of problem that the vehicle has
- How many attempts have been made at repairing the vehicle?
- How many days the vehicle has been off the road with the issue?
If the vehicle is not repaired within the timeframe as set out in the specific state statute, then the manufacturer has to buy the vehicle back.
It is important to point out, that it is up to the manufacturer to buy the vehicle back. The dealer shouldn’t be the one to buy the vehicle back.
How Does Lemon Law Differ Between States?
As mentioned previously, there are some differences in the lemon law between states. The states that are reportedly the best for their lemon law are Washington, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
In some states. Only certain classes and weights of vehicles are covered by the lemon law. In others, vehicles can only be for personal use, and not for business use.
In every state, new vehicles are covered by the lemon law, however, in certain states, used cars are also covered.
How Does Lemon Law Go Above the Warranty?
The lemon law provides vehicle owners support that exceeds that of the requirements set out in the manufacturer’s warranty. A warranty may state that a manufacturer will provide free repairs for a defect, but it won’t specify a timeframe.
A warranty won’t insist that a manufacturer buys back any defective vehicle if it’s not repaired within a specific period.
How Old Can a Vehicle That is a Lemon be?
The length of time that a vehicle can be considered a lemon will differ depending on the state that you are in.
New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington are among the best states for their lemon laws. Check your state to see where you stand.
Getting Legal Help For Your Lemon
If you have bought a vehicle that is a lemon, you might need the assistance of a lawyer. A lawyer will make sure that the vehicle manufacturer follows the lemon law.
If you have been sold a lemon and you have been in an automobile accident, then you may need the assistance of a car accident lawyer.
Did You Ever Buy a Lemon?
Buying a faulty car needn’t lead to financial ruin. With the lemon law there to protect buyers, you’ll get the support that you need.
So, now that you know how does the lemon law work, you’ll know exactly how you can get the help that you need if you ever buy a defective motor.
Were you ever sold a lemon? Did you get your money back? For more great articles, keep visiting this site.