We’ve all heard the expression “buying a lemon,” which most frequently alludes to acquiring a faulty automobile. Whether you receive a new or used car, you’re making a significant investment and want to avoid paying for frequent, expensive repairs because you selected a flawed model. Fortunately, each state has passed a lemon law to ensure you are covered if you purchase an intrinsically flawed car.
Lemon laws are rules that have been introduced in some states to make it simpler for the purchaser of a new, or in other jurisdictions new or used, vehicle to sue for damages or replacement if the dealer or manufacturer is unable to make the vehicle run correctly after a fair number of tries to fix the vehicle.
If you’ve ever bought a car that doesn’t run right, you may wonder whether you have a lemon. Every state has lemon law to protect you from such a scenario.
While the laws vary by state, they all have some standard requirements that must be met.
How do I identify a lemon?
Unlike some other fruits that can give you a clear indication of when they’re ready to pick, lemons don’t have any apparent signs. You’ll need to know a little more about their size and color and how to handle them once you get them home if you want to ensure they’re ripe enough for eating.
If you see a lemon that looks green but has started to turn yellow or even entirely yellow, it’s probably ripe and ready to be picked. However, if it has severe mold on the skin, it might not be suitable to eat.
The exact definition of lemon is based on your state’s lemon law (if it has one). Understanding what is and isn’t considered a lemon is essential to fully utilize your Lemon Law rights.
In most cases, a car repaired for the same issue four or more times during its warranty period is considered a lemon. If you see this in a vehicle history report, hiring a mechanic to inspect it before you buy is a good idea.
Another good way to check whether a car is a lemon is by checking its title. The title will contain information about its ownership and repair history, including if it has ever been declared a total loss because of flood or theft damage.
What are my rights?
If a lemon has bitten you, you have a right to receive compensation from the manufacturer. However, you should be aware that several laws and regulations may impact your case.
The most important one is the lemon law in Pennsylvania. This state statute is designed to give consumers the protection they deserve if they buy a new or certified pre-owned car with an unrepairable defect.
Several other statutes may affect your lemon law case, including the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. These are all aimed at helping you recover compensation from the manufacturers and dealers who sold you a lemon.
It’s always a good idea to consult an attorney before you file your claim or take any action in the hopes that you’ll get the most out of your case. An experienced lemon law lawyer can help you avoid the many pitfalls of buying a lemon.
You might also benefit from a state-run arbitration program that enables you to present your case to an impartial arbiter. This process can save you time and money and allow you to avoid the hassle of going to court. While other legal proceedings are available, an arbitration procedure is the best way for most people.
How do I get compensation?
As a consumer, you have certain rights when purchasing motor vehicles. These rights include the right to get compensation for lemon law violations.
You can sue the manufacturer or the dealer for lemon law violations when a vehicle is defective. However, there are specific requirements to make your case successful, and a qualified attorney can help you maximize your compensation.
Lemon law is a state-based law that protects consumers from buying vehicles that repeatedly need repairs. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to file a Lemon Law claim yourself, so it’s best to work with a lawyer who is experienced in it and will protect your rights.
Your rights under the lemon law depend on several factors, including the extent of the problem, your state’s rules, and the number of repair attempts. In general, your car must have a serious, materially adverse safety or performance issue that cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of repairs.
If the manufacturer cannot resolve your lemon law issue through an informal dispute settlement procedure, you may have the option to take your case to arbitration. Using an arbitration process is accessible, faster, and less costly than going to court.
If you choose to go to court, the courts can award enhanced damages of up to three times the value of your claim, plus additional attorney’s fees. However, a majority of lemon law claims are settled before going to trial.