A new vehicle is one of the biggest purchases that most of us will ever make, and when you spend that kind of money on a new vehicle, you certainly expect that your lovely new ride will be worry-free. In an ideal world, you will drive your new vehicle off the lot and it will be smooth sailing all the way. Unfortunately, there is also the scenario where as soon as you pick up your dream vehicle, it is nothing but trouble from there on in.
This nightmare scenario is a lot more common than you think as any of the 15,000 component parts inside your new vehicle can go wrong at any time. Whilst you may expect problems with a used vehicle, it is particularly frustrating if a brand new vehicle has problems from the outset. These vehicles are often referred to as a “lemon” vehicle, which means a new vehicle which has inherent design or manufacturing problems.
So what if it turns out that you have a lemon on your hands? Read on for our tips on how you can make lemon juice out of your lemon.
Identify if your Car Qualifies as a Lemon
You’ve purchased a brand-new car, but you know from the outset that something just isn’t right. Whether it is a horrible paint job, funny brakes or the steering wheel, you might have paid for a lemon. But first, you have to make sure it’s eligible for Lemon Law. Your new vehicle is a lemon car if:
– It has a “substantial defect” that happens after a certain time since the purchase.
– The defect can’t be fixed after a “reasonable number” of attempts by an auto-repair shop.
– Given that your car is eligible, you have to be able to prove that the defect substantially lowers your car’s worth by at least 10% than it would have been.
As you are trying to prove a lemon case, don’t forget to check your state’s law, as it defines how a defect is considered substantial and how many attempts are suggested to be reasonable.
Get an Expert to Help
While it is not compulsory to hire a lemon law attorney, having a professional lawyer represents you in your case can really help boost the flow. One way that a lemon law attorney can help is that they know the specific policies of car manufacturers when it comes to lemons. If you have bought a lemon Dodge, you may be entitled to a Dodge lemon law buyback, whereas other manufacturers have different lemon policies. Going through a lemon law case can be a long and exhausting process with so much red tape and paperwork that needs taking care of, and if you have no idea how lemon cases work, you might end up waiting a long time for negotiations with the company’s lawyers to get under way.
A lemon law attorney with years of experience to bring to the table can handle the case properly and minimize the runaround. You don’t have to worry about the cost as lemon lawyers work on a “no win no fee” basis, which means you don’t have to pay unless your case is successful
Start the Legal Proceedings
Depending on your local state law, you can send a letter of complaint directly to the vehicle manufacturer or file a notice to your dealership. You will first need a document to prove the number of attempts that you have tried to repair the defect. You should check your state law to know the minimum numbers of repair attempts to be qualified as ‘reasonable’.
If your new vehicle appears to have repeated problems with the same part, you might as well doubt it a lemon case, start to keep track of your documents in case of further needs, those include proofs of all the repairments that have been made, a complete record of all contacts with the manufacturers and dealers, all receipts. You are also, by law, required to give the manufacturer one final opportunity to fix the vehicle but that should not exceed seven business days. At the end of this course, you should expect to receive your car, whether it’s been fixed or not. If the manufacturer fails to repair your car, you have the right to ask for compensation.
No one wants a car that sits longer in the shop than on the road. The longer you have your car in the shop, the more it’s going to cost you. If you think you may have a case, act on it now, and save your money, time and effort.