When you suspect you have a lemon vehicle, it is crucial to take the proper steps immediately. Fortunately, all states have lemon laws to protect consumers from being stuck with defective vehicles. Lemon laws vary by state, but they typically have two requirements. The first requirement is that the defect must be a substantial one. The second requires that the manufacturer or its dealer cause the defect.
Keep Track of Your Service Records
If you suspect you have a lemon vehicle, keeping track of your service records is important. This will help you to build a stronger case if your car is ever in court. Keeping track of your vehicle’s service history can also help you to avoid buying a lemon in the first place. Most dealerships will provide a free vehicle history report if you ask for it. Still, you can also obtain one from providers approved by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTS).
The NMVTS reports the number of repair attempts and days the vehicle has been in the shop. Depending on your state, the amount of time it has been out of commission can help your lemon law case. In addition to a vehicle’s repairs, it is also important to document when the problems started and any correspondence with the dealership or manufacturer. This will also help you to determine if the issues were caused by something other than a manufacturer defect.
Contact an Attorney
When you suspect that you may have a lemon vehicle, it is important to contact an attorney like a California lemon law attorney as soon as possible. Many attorneys specialize in this area and can help you file your claim and get the compensation you deserve. In addition, keeping detailed records of the events surrounding your vehicle’s problems is a good idea. These should include repair attempts, correspondence with the manufacturer and dates of when issues began. If you cannot document the problems that arise with your vehicle, you will likely not be able to pursue a lemon law claim successfully. Fortunately, all 50 states have laws addressing this issue, and the attorney representing you will know what steps to take to ensure you get the money you deserve.
Most state lemon laws provide a statutory window in which you can request that the automaker make a final repair to your vehicle. The law also allows you to send a demand letter to the manufacturer, which requires the automaker to respond in writing within a set amount of time after receiving your notice. You should make a demand letter each time you bring your vehicle in for repairs, and be sure to get a signature showing the manufacturer received the letter. This can establish the foundation of your claim if you have to go to court later on.
Keep a Vehicle History Report
When you’re considering buying a used car, it’s crucial to have the right information. A vehicle history report will provide you with a wealth of details about the car. It will show the car’s title, accidents, ownership and service history. A car history report will also help you avoid lemon vehicles. These vehicles have been damaged or refurbished so much that the manufacturer can no longer fix them.
If you have an older car and notice a lot of problems, you first should run a vehicle history report on it. You’ll want to find out if the vehicle has been in an accident, who owned it, whether it has any liens, and how many miles have been driven on it. Then you can decide if it’s worth purchasing. Some car history reports will also offer you a reliability report, which can tell you how reliable the car is likely to be. Buying a car is a huge investment, so you’ll want to ensure it’s in good condition. That means a mechanical inspection and taking the car to a body shop if you think there’s any structural damage.
File a Complaint
When you suspect that you have a lemon vehicle, it is important to file a complaint with your local consumer protection office. These agencies have representatives who help drivers determine whether they are eligible for lemon law arbitration and may provide legal representation at the hearing.
To qualify for lemon law protection, a vehicle must have a defect or manufacturing problem that can’t be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts. The defect must also significantly impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle. A lemon law claim can be filed on a new car, used car or truck sold with a warranty. The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act covers these vehicles, but state laws may differ.
The process for filing a lemon law claim can vary based on your state, so it is best to consult with an experienced attorney. They will know the ins and outs of lemon law in your state, can help you prepare your claim and will likely take your case on a contingency fee basis. It is important to keep detailed records of every attempt you make to get your car or other consumer good repaired. These records should include copies of all repair orders, invoices and receipts.