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
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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
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
The term of protection is defined as one year from the date of
original delivery or the term of the warranty, whichever comes first.
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
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
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.
here to find a lemon lawyer in your state