Understanding the Lemon Laws

November 23rd, 2016 by


As a used car buyer, your biggest priority is avoiding the purchase of a lemon. A lemon is a vehicle that has manufacturing defects that affect its value – essentially, a vehicle you should not waste your money on. Unfortunately, spotting hidden problems and looming dangers is a big challenge when examining a used car, even for car experts. Make sure you understand your rights as a buyer and how you can protect yourself under lemon laws.

What is a Lemon?

The common understanding of a lemon is a car that has problems or defects that the seller tried to hide in order to make a sale. As a result of these problems, the car causes the new owner to frequently repair and ultimately regret their purchase. That definition works fine for conversation, but it is quite a bit different than the legal definition.

What are Lemon Laws?

Lemon laws are designed to protect car buyers who purchase a vehicles that have problems that cannot be fixed in a timely manner. However, note that these laws only apply to the purchase of new vehicles. They also place a heavy burden of proof on the buyer.

Specific lemon laws vary by state, but in almost all cases you will have to allow a dealer to try and fix a problem at least three times. You will need to supply specific documentation for each of your service visits and communicate directly with the automaker through certified mail. Beginning to end, the process can take several months.

Should You Use Lemon Laws?

It is best to only consider using lemon laws as a last resort. The process adds a lot to the hassles you’re already experiencing, and even if you win your case you will only receive partial compensation for the purchase of a different vehicle. It is reassuring to have lemon laws at your disposal, but think closely about all your options before you consider invoking them.

Car Buying Counsel from Earl Stewart Toyota

Finding the right car at the right price is a big enough challenge without worrying about buying a lemon. Follow our blog to learn more tips, tricks, strategies, and secrets to about the automotive industry.

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