How do you know if your car is a lemon?

There is nothing like buying a new car. There is something about the smell of a new car and how everything feels so new and so perfect. It is the absolute worst when a few days or a few weeks after getting your new car, something just is not right with it. It probably would not take much for you to be dissatisfied if something is wrong with your brand new car. We all know they are not cheap. Even cars that are considered affordable are expensive. If you have taken it back to the dealer for repairs and after countless trips, your car still is not right, you might have a lemon on your hands. Even though you might be convinced that your car is a lemon, the law may not be on your side. There are lemon laws which determine when a car is irretrievably malfunctioning. There are some ways to determine if your car is in fact a lemon. You can determine if your car is a lemon using the guidelines on your own, but you may find that the manufacturer is not cooperating. If that is the case, contact Attorney Aaron Fhima to fight for you.

The lemon law states that a vehicle must meet two criteria. The first criteria is that the car has a substantial defect which is covered under warranty and it the defect occurs within a certain number of days after purchase. The second criteria is the defect remains even after you have taken it for repair for a reasonable number of times. There are some key and unclear terms in the lemon law that you should know a little more about before proceeding. 

What is a Substantial Defect?

A substantial defect is something that is wrong with the car that was a not caused by your use of the car that interferes with the use of the car, the safety of the car, or the value of the car. This definition of substantial defect may change a bit from state to state. All states have a set time in which the defect must happen. It could be within in a certain number of days or a certain amount of miles. Many states require the defect to be covered under a warranty. The defect must also impact the functioning of the car in a serious way. Think of it as a problem with the braking or steering system. However, if something is wrong with the heat controls, that may not be considered serious. There are not clear rules on what substantial means from state to state. Some states do not think a problem with the pain is substantial, while other states consider that to be a defect.

What is a Reasonable Number of Repairs?

The car dealer or manufacturer must be given a reasonable amount of time to fix the defects. In general, four attempts to fix a defect is considered to be reasonable. The type of the defect makes a difference when it comes to the number of repairs. In some cases, the defect is so substantial that after only one attempt to repair, that was enough to consider the car a lemon. In some cases, the number of days a car is in the shop for repairs may qualify the car as a lemon.

Typically when you think about lemon laws, you think of new cars, or leases, but there are some states that cover used cars under their lemon laws. Depending in which state you live, your car may be covered under the lemon law if it has only been sold one time. It may be covered if it is still under the original warranty. It may also be covered if it has a certain number of miles on it. You should talk to a lawyer to find out which rules apply in your state.

If your car meets the criteria of a lemon, you have the legal right to be given a replacement car, or get a refund. You must be sure that the manufacturer is aware of the defect. The process could be handled outside of court. If you are not satisfied with the deal you are offered, you can sue, but you will probably first have to go to arbitration.

Arbitration for the lemon law is a free process that should take place outside of a court. An arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators review both sides of the case and make a decision. They make the decision as to whether or not you should get a replacement or a refund of your money. If you do not like the decision the arbitrator made, you can then sue the manufacturer. If you accept the arbitrator’s decision, the manufacturer does not have the right to sue. That is where the case ends.

Author: Brandon Park