One percent of cars built each year turn out to be lemons. That does not sound like much, but when you consider that it equates to 150,000 vehicles, you get an idea of the enormity of the problem. Fortunately, for the buyers of these vehicles, every state has enacted its version of the lemon law. If your new car has repeated unfixable problems, you need to know how you can get a replacement or refund.
What Is A Lemon?
Every state has a lemon law, but there are differences. Under most state laws, to qualify, a car must have a substantial defect that is covered under warranty, it has to have occurred within a defined period or number of miles driven. Furthermore, a certain number of repair attempts must have been made.
What Does the Law See As A Substantial Defect?
A serious defect is one that impairs the vehicles safety, usability, or resale value; the defect must be one covered by the new car warranty. Minor defects such as a rattle under the dash do not qualify. Often there are problems trying to define what the difference between minor and substantial is. If it is deemed that the defect is substantial, it must have happened within a specified time limit or mileage cap.
Once again, different states have different interpretations of the lemon law. However, in all states, the manufacturer or authorized dealer must be given a certain number of chances to fix the problem. If the defect is such that serious injury or death may be the result, it is usual that one attempt is granted. If the defect affects the use or value of the car, most lemon laws grant the manufacturer three repair attempts.
Once it has been established that your car is a lemon under the law, you can ask for a replacement of equally spec and value or a full refund. If the manufacturer fails to comply, you can go to arbitration or sue in civil court.
To know more about the lemon law for cars, visit Lemon Law America in your state.