How Do I Know If Legally My Car Is A Lemon?

How do you know if your car is a lemon under the lemon law? Well the simple question to answer is whether you have had to take your new car into the service center at the car dealership for the same issue over and over within the first 12 months since purchasing the car? If so, you may have a lemon car on your hands.

Lemon Laws Are Different Per State You Live In
The first thing to know about the lemon law is that the laws are different from state to state. The best place to start determining whether your car is a lemon or not is to do an Internet Google search for “Your State lemon law” to see what comes up. You should have very little trouble finding a consumer protection agency, government agency or law firm that will provide this data to you free of charge.

What Makes A Car A Lemon?

Typically a car is a lemon if it continually has issues or a defect that severely impacts the use of the car, affects its safety, value or seems to be unrepairable.

If you have made four attempts to fix the same thing within six months to a year you may have a valid lemon law complaint.

The car may also be a lemon if it has been off the road for 30 non consecutive days during either the year after it was sold by the dealer or the duration of the express car warranty, whichever is the shortest.

Your car may qualify as a lemon after the first 12 months of ownership if the problem that you have was first discovered and addressed at the dealership within the first 12 months of owning the car.

Do Lemon Laws Only Cover New Cars?
Lemon laws do cover used cars as well as new cars in a number of states. In some states, lemon laws will even reach to private car sales. You will need to research the law in your state to find if it would apply to you.
One thing that you will want to watch out for is making alterations to your car that violates your car’s manufacturer warranty program. If you violate your warranty you could jeopardize your car’s potential lemon status. Another item that could jeopardize your lemon law suit could be neglecting to maintain your vehicle. Make sure that you continue to keep the car in tip top shape with regularly scheduled maintenance and that you keep all receipts of work done.

What Happens If I Win My Lemon Law Case?
Should you prove that your car is a lemon, chances are you will turn the car back into the dealer or manufacturer for some sort of refund of what you paid for the car, and cancellation of your loan. You may also get reimbursed for items like, finance charges, taxes and car registration fees.
Keep in mind, in some cases believe it or not, the car manufacturer might also be due to be compensated some for the wear and tear on the car during the time that you actually drove the car. This will not be a charge that goes to you directly but it can pulled off the top of any compensation that you are awarded.

What Is My First Step If I Think I Have A Lemon?
The first thing you need to do if you think you have a lemon is to contact the manufacturer of the car. You can look in your owner’s manual for information on how to contact the car manufacturer’s arbitration department. Depending on the state you may need to contact the dealer that you got the car from first. You should get together all of your receipts so you have evidence that four tries were made to fix your car.
If you think that you are not being treated fairly you may need to contact the attorney general in your state or even hire an attorney. You do have remedies for a car that is a lemon. Do not think that you have to put up with a bad car. You can fight back. One person can make a difference.