Lemon Law

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:34 by admin
It is an unavoidable fact: Most Americans will have to purchase a new automobile at some point during their lifetime. For the amount of time a typical car owner spends researching a new vehicle and for the amount of money he invests upon purchase, a quality product is not too much to ask for. Unfortunately, to err is human. No mass produced product comes without a few "bad seeds." When a car owner is repeatedly taking a new vehicle to a shop for repairs that are beyond his control, he may have purchased what is known in the automobile world as a lemon. If so, an owner may be entitled to a replacement, a cash settlement or a full refund.

The hassles of owning a lemon can be quite frustrating, and actually proving a vehicle falls under the definition of a state's lemon law can be very difficult. While each state has varying laws, the majority consider a vehicle a lemon when the automobile has been repaired on numerous occasions (usually three or four times, remaining unfixed) within the warranty period for a defect that decreases the cost or limits the use of a vehicle. In some states a vehicle may be classified as a lemon after only one repair if the problem presents a serious safety hazard. Examples of defects that usually fall under most states' lemon laws include, but may not be limited to, cars with serious brake or steering problems, vehicles that will not change gears or automobiles that will not accelerate to the proper speed.

State lemon laws can be quite confusing. For example, in Alabama a vehicle is considered a lemon after three failed repair attempts and a minimum of 30 calendar days out of service. The coverage period is 1 year or 12,000 miles. In Idaho, however, a car owner must have repaired the vehicle four times with a minimum of 30 calendar days out of service. But the coverage period is 2 years or 24,000 miles. An experienced attorney familiar with lemon law litigation may be required to ensure a car owner is reimbursed for damages.

If you believe your automobile may be a lemon, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Automobiles & Other Vehicles
  Name Size