When you purchase a new car, you want your purchase to be a good one. You want a car that will run great with only periodic maintenance for many years, but after buying your car, you might begin to have problems. Of course, your warranty will cover most issues, but you may begin to notice a problem with the car that has already been fixed or a new issue after the first one was repaired. Recurrent or frequent problems could mean that you bought a lemon. The good news is that many states have lemon laws to protect consumers. The following are a few things you should know.
Lemon laws do not cover every vehicle
Although state laws vary, they will usually cover new cars and only those cars purchased by individuals and not businesses. Often, they will cover a vehicle that is leased, but again, only for an individual. These laws are geared to protect the consumer, so the owner must be a household, a couple, or a single person. In addition, vehicles include sedans, SUVs, vans, pickup trucks, or other vehicles used for transportation. Lemon laws seldom cover motorcycles.
You must adhere to the warranty stipulations
There are obligations you have as a car owner to keep the vehicle running at its best. This will mean having periodic maintenance done at the intervals stated in your owner's manual. You will need to operate the vehicle within the limits specified by the manufacturer. Any modifications that you do to the vehicle will also void your warranty. If it is discovered that you did anything to the car, even if it doesn't relate to your car being a lemon, it will be used against you. An attorney may have difficulty helping you.
You should report the issue in a timely manner
In this case, timely means before the warranty expires. Most of the time, you can report the issue to an authorized dealer of the model of car you bought. It doesn't have to be the same dealer because you may have moved, but you need to be aware of the date the warranty expires. As long as you contact an authorized dealer or the manufacturer before the expiration date, they will have to fix the problem.
Lemon laws often have a statement about reasonable repair attempts
How this is interpreted will depend upon a particular state's law, but a dealer will have more than one chance to fix the problem. The problem may not be obvious, so it could come back. However, before you are given a replacement, there may be several attempts to repair the issue under the lemon law.
Once you're at the point where there is no longer a solution to your problem, you should consult an attorney who has experience with the lemon laws in your state.
Contact an attorney for more information about lemon laws.