You almost can’t believe it but you finally buy the car of your dreams after years of saving. Several months go by without a hitch until one day the car stalls at a red light. You restart it but grow concerned that there might be a serious problem. So as a precaution you take it to a mechanic in which they declare you need work done.
You grudgingly pay the bill to get it fixed hoping that it will completely rectify the problem. But several weeks later the car breaks down and you suspect that you might have a “lemon” on your hands.
A brief overview of lemon laws
A “lemon” is simply the term used to refer to defective items such as vehicles. If the same problems occur after repeated failed attempts within the warranty period then the car could qualify as a lemon. If there is a valid case then the manufacturer is legally required to replace the vehicle or offer a refund.
Depending on the severity of the issue the penalties can be even more serious. Recently, Toyota had to pay claims of over $1.1 billion when faulty floor mats from certain vehicles caused unintended acceleration leading to numerous incidents of injury and even some cases of death.
Lemon laws vary across all states but they are specifically designed to protect the consumer. The following are three common myths about lemon laws.
I bought my car used so I can’t claim it
Even if you purchased your car used you could still have a monetary claim depending on your state’s lemon laws. This is particularly true if your vehicle still has warranty coverage from the manufacturer while the problems occurred. And if the warranty has expired you could still qualify for compensation.
My car is fixed so I can no longer make a claim
Even if your vehicle is fixed it now, there are still no guarantees that it will permanently fix the issue. The problems could easily reoccur in the future causing further inconvenience and costly trips to the dealer. The lemon laws in your state are there to protect your interests.
My claim needs to be filed within a certain frame
One common misconception about lemon laws is the requirement to file a claim before a certain mileage or time limit. This is simply not true. Most claims are still valid up to four years from the date that the vehicle was discovered to be a lemon through numerous attempts to repair the same issue. Depending on the state that you live in, this time frame could be even longer.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=broken%20down%20car&ex=2#ai:MP900409753|
Eric Regan is a writer who loves to see what the world has to offer. He has written for blogs covering various topics