Whats a used car lemon law


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What's a used car lemon law?

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Read on to learn what a used car lemon law is.

First, let's define what a lemon is in the used car world. Think defect. A vehicle that chronically has a defect that impairs its use, value or safety in a substantial way is considered a lemon. Basically, in most states, if you've had to repair your vehicle more than three times for the same defect during the vehicle's warranty period, your car will typically qualify as a lemon.

No, you don't win anything for this qualification, except some frustration.

However, in an effort to make lemonade out of a bitter lemon situation, most states have enacted lemon laws which protect unassuming consumers from being saddled with a tart aftertaste in their mouths. These laws are in place to mediate those situations when consumers have purchased a defective vehicle.

So, to be clear, if your car's paint peels, or the vehicle is making some funny noises but drives fine otherwise, you don't have a lemon. If, on the other hand, your brakes don't work, or you can't get the thing to go into reverse, or you have a wobbly front driver's seat - in other words, things that substantially impair your driving - then in all probability you have a lemon, at least as defined by most states.

Lemon laws are in place state by state to give your car manufacturer a legal opportunity to repair any defects within the car's warranty period.

Again, each state is different. In some states, just one serious defect that can't be fixed by a manufacturer after one attempt can deem your car as being a lemon. In other states, ten different defects during a car's warranty period may not necessarily brand your car as a lemon. In other words, make sure to research the specific lemon laws in the state that you've procured your vehicle in for clarification of its lemon definition.

Here's some advice: make sure to protect your consumer rights, and document all of your car's repairs. Make sure that you give the car manufacturer an opportunity to fix the car problem or problems, otherwise you'll waste all rights that would normally be given to you under the various State Warranty Acts.

Not all states include used cars in their lemon law statutes, so again, do your research for the specific state where you purchased or leased your vehicle. It's not uncommon to find that some states have separate laws that govern used cars.

If you have in fact purchased or leases a "lemon", in many states you'll need to hire an attorney to take the manufacturer (not the dealer) to court in order to resolve the issue. Some states have an arbitration board in place for this very purpose, and you'd might first be required to take it to the board first, then sue only if you're not satisfied with the arbitration board's ruling.
Again, consult with your own state's regulations and lemon law statutes, and consult with an attorney if and when deemed necessary.

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