Buying or leasing a car can be a confusing and frustrating experience, especially if that vehicle turns out to be a lemon. A lemon, or defective vehicle, has problems that substantially affect its safety, use, or value. State laws, known as “lemon laws,” help people get their vehicles repaired or receive a fair refund from automobile manufacturers.
We provide information on all aspects of lemon law and how to protect yourself from defective vehicles. We also provide legal remedies and rights for those who have purchased or leased a defective vehicle from an automobile manufacturer. Let us help you get the justice that you deserve.
The following tips can help you maximize your chances of successfully having a lemon law case against automobile manufacturers.
Maintain a Complete Vehicle Record
Documenting your various attempts at fixing a particular defect is extremely important. You should never leave the dealer or manufacturer without a detailed statement of what was done to the vehicle, as well as any charges that may have been included. This written proof is integral towards proving your claim that you provided the manufacturer of the vehicle with a reasonable opportunity to remedy the problem. Therefore, always insist on receiving a copy of the work orders.
Inquire about TSBs
When an automobile manufacturer discovers a defect or repair for a certain model of the automobile, they send instructions to alert dealerships using what is known as TSBs. Dealerships usually do not offer up this information unless an individual asks about TSBs. This can be important information down the road. Make sure that the dealer representative who you are dealing with writes down your TSB request on the repair order.
An automobile purchase is an important and costly endeavor. Don’t be afraid to demand satisfaction from your dealership. If you are having problems getting the problem properly fixed, ask to speak with the manager or a higher up to address your problem and concerns.
Be Wary of Certain Statements
The dealership may have something to gain by accusing the driver or owner of the vehicle of being responsible for the defect. This is often done because the dealership is unable to fix the problem. They may assume that the vehicle owner will give up and assume responsibility for a manufacturing problem. This happens more often than you may think.
Use a Certified LetterAccording to Pennsylvania Lemon Law, vehicle owners must inform the manufacturer of their defect using certified mail.
What to do if you have a Lemon?
1. Check the vehicle’s warranty in order to inform yourself about the proper steps to take to guarantee legal recourse. (A warranty is a written guarantee that the vehicle is of good, sound quality.)
2. Hopefully, you can resolve the problem with your automobile dealer. They should want to remedy the problem to maximize future car sales.
3. Contact the manufacturer or its representative directly. It is possible that your warranty specifically requires that you directly notify the manufacturer of the defect(s).—As stated above, always send letters via certified mail and keep a copy for your records.
4. If the manufacturer is unable to provide the appropriate repairs and your vehicle qualifies (for qualification, click on the Lemon Law Information page), you should then pursue arbitration.