Lemon laws have been developing over the past several years due to consumer and governmental concerns and many recommendations have been made and acted upon. Though not a complete reference, the following points are important for consideration if you feel you have purchased a car that does not fit the standard of service you have been told it would serve.
- Most new cars purchased have warranties that cover at least three years or 100,000 km, whichever comes first. During this period, the warranty covers most or all of the repair costs necessary. Though you may feel you have purchased a “lemon,” these warranties are normally enough to cover the car dealer and manufacturers from additional action, as long as they act in good faith to make the repairs in a timely manner.
- It has been suggested, and government agencies are considering, allowing additional remedies for those with a full vehicle warranty. For example, if the repairs are multiple (three or more) over a short period of time or if the car is out of service for ten or more days consecutively, the owner would have the ability to request lemon law relief.
- Along with the loss of transportation is the potential for loss of income on the part of the car owner. This will be taken into account in future lemon law legislation and remedies will be allowed under the direction of a third party government board in order to avoid what could become a long and difficult process between the car dealer and car owner.
- Both the Fair Trading Act of 1999 and the Trade Practices Act of 1974 address consumer rights in the event of a defective product, but there is an advancement of legislation that would strengthen the right of car owners to gain satisfaction under amendments to the previous acts. In the future, it will be easier for car owners to seek either replacement of a “lemon” vehicle or a refund of the amount of the price less the fair use of the vehicle. These amendments are intended to help decrease the frustration many owners have felt during the long and arduous legal processes currently available.
- As a car owner, it is important that you are informed about the latest laws concerning defective automobiles. It is your responsibility to see that you understand what recourse you have and which legal or government authorities you may contact.