What Are Lemon Laws?

by | Apr 6, 2016 | Attorneys

Every state has lemon laws that provide protection for those who purchase products that have serious defects and fail to perform as described by the manufacturer. If the fault cannot be rectified within a specified time period or returned to as new condition after a specified number of repair attempts it is a lemon. Those who purchase such a product are protected by the lemon laws of their state. Although every state has a lemon law there are variances from one state to another.

What are lemon laws and what do they cover?

What are commonly known as lemon laws date back to 1975 when the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act was passed, this is a federal law. Although the true intent of the law is to provide protection to those that buy new vehicles, it also covers household and consumer products that are sold with a warranty. As the original act did not specify the issue of refunds for those who bought such defective products, each state has passed supplemental laws to address this issue.

What qualifies As a lemon?

Let’s focus o vehicles. Generally, if a vehicle has been in for repair of the same defect a specified number of times; usually three or four and this action has taken place while the vehicle is under warranty, the vehicle might be a lemon. The same holds true for the time the vehicle was in for repair. If it was not available for use for a certain period of time; usually 30 days cumulative, the vehicle might be a lemon.

Simple issues like a loose switch or wind rush noise rarely are reasons to think the car is a lemon. The vehicle must have a defect that has a substantial impact on the use or safety of the vehicle or is detrimental to its resale value. If you have a car that has continual brake failure, you most certainly have a lemon but if it has a defective finish, this is debatable.

How to protect your investment:

You really have no way of knowing in advance if your car is a lemon, when you take it in for repairs the first time it might come back in perfect condition or the problem may reoccur. To protect your rights under the lemon laws of your state document everything right from the start.

Put you complaints in writing, get a copy of repair orders and keep all invoices. Even if the dealer states the repair is “no charge” demand an invoice to that effect. Keep a record of when the car went in the shop and when it came out. By maintaining an accurate record of all repair work you will be protecting your rights should the vehicle turn out to be a lemon.

When you ask the question, “what are lemon laws,” the answer will be different depending on the state where you reside. For detailed answers to this question you are invited to visit the web site of yourlemonlawrights.com.

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