Lemon Law Information
Whether you are buying a new or used vehicle, you are always at risk for ending up with a “less than perfect” purchase. Federal and state lemon laws protect your consumer rights when it comes to vehicle purchases. However, it helps to know how to identify a lemon when you have one so that you can resolve the problem as rapidly as possible. In some cases, you may even be able to recognize a potentially bad vehicle before you buy it.
By definition, a lemon is a vehicle that is found to be defective. Lemons may be new or used. Used vehicles are usually advertised in good condition, but then display severe functional issues after purchase. In most cases, a new lemon is nothing more than a fluke of the manufacturing process. However, in other cases, an entire line of new lemons may be produced as the result of a flaw in design.
How to Identify a Lemon
If your car begins to break down shortly after purchase, you might have a lemon, especially if you purchased the car new. If the car continues to malfunction and cannot be fixed within a reasonable number of attempts, the car may qualify for lemon law relief, and the manufacturer needs to repair or replace it.
Under federal and state consumer protection laws including the Magnuson Moss Federal Warranty Protection Act, manufacturers must work to resolve the issue when a consumer discovers he has purchased a lemon. The federal lemon law, which is also known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, requires manufacturers to provide a minimum amount of warranty protection. This law also requires manufacturers to uphold the consumer rights described in the warranty as promised. If you find that you have purchased a bad vehicle or product, your consumer rights may also be protected by state laws. State lemon laws typically offers protection above and beyond federal warranty protection law, by requiring manufacturers to repair or replace vehicles when they meet certain criteria.
Although your consumer rights are protected by federal and state lemon law, you should try to avoid purchasing a defective vehicle or product whenever possible. Before you buy any vehicle, make sure to take it for a test drive. Pay attention to the sound of the engine, how well the vehicle handles and whether it seems to have any issues starting or braking. If the car is used, consider researching its history and questioning the seller about any problems, however the lemon law does not cover vehicles purchased from private parties or sellers.
Last Modified: Friday, March 22, 2013