If you buy a new car and it ends up in the garage to have the same defect repaired three or four times inside a set time limit or mileage limit and the defect still exists, the car is a lemon under the lemon law for cars in most states. The law does vary from one state to another so if you feel your car qualifies you may wish to consult with a lawyer.
How do I know if I bought a lemon?
Generally speaking, if you bought a car with a defect that impairs the safety of the occupants, the use of the car or the value of the car, it is a lemon. The defect must be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. There may be a number of things that you don’t like about your new car, but that does not make it a lemon.
If the car doesn’t stop when you apply the brakes or it won’t turn a corner when you turn the steering wheel or the top speed it gets is only 30 MPH and you have the gas pedal depressed all the way to the floor, you probably have a lemon. To satisfy the lemon law for cars you have to give the manufacturer or the manufacturers authorized representative, usually the dealer; the opportunity to fix what is wrong.
A few tips to protect yourself if your car us a lemon:
Keep a detailed record of every trip you make to the repair shop. Start with the first one, at this stage you don’t know if you have a lemon or not.
Document everything. You need to jot down every conversation you have, who you have it with and what it’s about. Always commit your complaints to writing, avoid verbal complaints and get copies of every repair order.
Record the date, time and mileage every time the car goes in for repair as well as the date and time when you get the car back. The lemon law for cars also includes a clause that covers you if the car has been unavailable for a certain number of days.
Nobody wants a lemon, but just on the odd chance that the new car you buy is one, you can protect yourself and take full advantage of the lemon law for cars in your state.