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 LEMON HELP

WHAT IS A LEMON?

A lemon is a new or used vehicle that has recurring mechanical problems, and requires extensive or costly auto repairs. Lemons are cars that have been salvaged, flooded or have had other problems that are purposely hidden from the buyer. A lemon is a car that the seller knows has a problem history. Lemons will cost you money in repairs, have low resell value, and can be dangerous to drive.

Used cars will eventually have problems and need repairs. Buying a used car is a gamble. If an honest person sells you a car and the transmission goes out the next week, it could very well be a coincidence. It will still be a lemon, but the seller is not at fault.

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WHAT are LEMON laws?

First of all, check your local state laws. Every state has it's own definitions of a lemon, and differing solutions and procedures to follow to get relief. Below is some general information about lemons and lemon law, which may or may not apply to your particular states law.

A "Lemon" is a motor vehicle sold or leased that has a defect or condition that substantially impairs the motor vehicle; and the manufacturer, its agent, or authorized dealer cannot repair the vehicle after multiple attempts or the vehicle is out of service for repairs for a certain number of days. Under most lemons laws, the manufacturer must replace the motor vehicle or refund the purchase price (less a reasonable allowance for use).

"Substantially impair" means to render a motor vehicle unreliable or unsafe for normal operation, or to reduce its resale market value below the average resale value for comparable motor vehicles.

The term of protection is defined as one year from the date of original delivery or the term of the warranty, whichever comes first.

Click here to find lemon laws pertaining to your state of residence.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A New LEMON?

If you have a lemon that is a new car, you must notify the manufacturer of the problem in writing by certified mail. The manufacturer has an additional opportunity to repair your car within a given time frame. If the manufacturer cannot repair your car and the manufacturer has an informal dispute settlement procedure that complies with Federal Trade Commission regulations, the refund and replacement provisions of the Lemon Law won't apply until you submit to the procedure. You are not bound by the decision and can still seek available legal remedies, including asking a court to award a replacement vehicle or reimbursement of the purchase price (less a reasonable allowance for use), plus attorney fees and court costs.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A used LEMON?

If you have a used car, then you should contact a lawyer for help, since it can be more complicated to resolve your problem without legal expertise. Small claims courts have proven to only be reliable some of the time for reclaiming money from a used lemon.

We recommend picketing the used car dealership with friend or family on a busy weekend. They may realize that the business that you lose them is not worth it, and settle with you on the spot. Be sure to have proof of your problems, and have the car nearby, to show to curious potential customers the hazards of ding business with the dealer.

Also be sure to pass out flyers and tell everybody you know about the situation, even contact the local news or newspaper, other companies that might endorse the dealer. Also a website can also be helpful to keep people from doing business with the dealer. Keep to the facts and avoid personal venting or you can be accused of slander.

HOW DO i AVOID BUYING A LEMON?

Lemons will cost you time and money. Better to avoid them altogether. A VIN Report will tell you the facts and let you know that the car has a clean past. Just remember, used cars still break down even if they have a clean history. A qualified mechanic should check it as well - not the mechanic at the dealer you plan to buy it from!

How CAN I TAKE ACTION?

You can file a law suit at anytime, usually within one year from the date of original delivery of your car or within six months from the expiration of your expressed warranty, whichever is later. Extended warranties are not considered. You should consult an attorney well before the expiration of your time limit to be sure of preserving your legal rights.

Click here to find a lemon lawyer in your state

 

lemon CAR tips

1. Gather all your documents, records, and repair reports and organize them. Evaluate how your vehicle qualifies as a "lemon" based on your records.

2. Write to the manufacturer requesting the repurchase or replacement of your vehicle. To locate the manufacturer’s address look in your owner’s manual or ask the dealership. The written request to the manufacturer should include:

•Make, Model, Year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN);

•An explanation of the problem(s);

•Name(s) of dealership(s) where diagnosis/repair attempts have been made, including dates of attempts;

•You must request replacement or repurchase of the motor vehicle.

You should send the letter to the manufacturer by certified mail with a return receipt requested. This will verify the date that the manufacturer received your letter.

KEEP A COPY OF YOUR LETTER AND YOUR RETURN RECEIPT IN YOUR RECORDS.

 
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