Prospective car owners typically approach a new car dealer with very little suspicion and believe that the new vehicle they plan to purchase will provide years of reliability and driving satisfaction. Unfortunately for many of these same car owners, there is a measure of buyer’s remorse once the “new” has worn off the purchase. In a small number of these cases the new car turns out to be vastly less than acceptable in its reliability. Such cars are commonly referred to as “lemons” and are covered by numerous local and national laws and regulations.
Let’s suppose you are one of those affected by a lemon you have recently purchased. The costs of such a purchase include not only the price you have given, but also the time and additional resources you will lose as the result of the car having mechanical issues. It’s important to understand that laws vary from one region to another and in some instances only cover major mechanical issues such as transmission or engine failure. Also, the mechanical problems normally have to occur multiple times over the course of a short period of time. If the new automatic transmission continues to slip out of gear unexpectedly and you have the car in the shop for the third time in as many months, most “lemon laws” will dictate what recourse you have.
Since most new cars have a full warranty, laws are sometimes lenient toward the manufacturer. However, multiple visits to the mechanic will allow you the ability to go to the original car dealer and demand satisfaction under the lemon laws in your area. The first step in most lemon law cases is absolute responsibility for repairs on the part of the dealer. This normally is not an issue with the warranty on most cars, but you may also be able to request repayment for car rental and other incidentals you have paid as a result of the loss of your new vehicle.
Replacement of the car is the ultimate lemon law solution. Keep in mind the dealer is only obligated to trade you for the same make and model of car, and the car should have no more mileage than what your original car had when problems began. In most cases a car dealer will not give a refund for a car and normally lemon laws do not require such action. If you think you have a lemon take the time to research your local laws as well as the remedies allowed.