Every state has a version of the car lemon law, although there are differences the objective is the same, the laws provide consumers that have purchased a vehicle with recourse in the event the vehicle fails to meet certain standards.
The car lemon law can trace its roots back to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that became law in 1975. Prior to that there were no enforceable way to get a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price in the event the vehicle failed to perform.
* What is a lemon?
Although there are minor differences, in general, a lemon is a vehicle that has a defect that has a substantial impact on the vehicles value, its usage and safety and cannot be repaired after three or four attempts. In the majority of states a host of different problems that crop up during the warranty period does not necessarily mean the vehicle is a lemon, it is a single defect that can’t be repaired that is the primary factor in determining if the vehicle is a lemon or not.
* What about used cars?
Once again, this depends on the state in which you reside. Some states provide an element of protection for those that purchase a used car, some don’t. The same holds true for leased cars, in some states the law prevails if the lease agreement includes a clause that the lessee is responsible for any and all repairs.
* Is it necessary to hire a lawyer?
Some states are decidedly “consumer friendly”. If you have proper documentation including copies of all the work orders, dates the vehicle went and in came back out of the shop, etc; all that is required is a written complaint. Other states are not as compassionate and it usually is a good idea to hire a lemon law attorney.
One thing is for sure in all states; you must keep impeccable records. Make sure your complaint is recorded on the repair order and make sure that the wording is the same as you describe otherwise the repair may not be seen as repetitive in nature.
The car lemon law is different from one state to another. If you have reason to think your new vehicle is a lemon you are invited to visit the web site of Lemon Law America where you will find more detail.