For some people, the excitement of driving a new vehicle quickly dissipates with the emergence of a significant malfunction, defect, or other problem that wasn’t part of the deal. To meet the criteria of “lemon,” a vehicle must have a substantial defect that presents itself within the warranty limits, or continue to have the defect after a reasonable number of attempts to fix it.

When Can You Take Advantage Of Lemon Law

Generally speaking, when a defect occurs that is not caused by the owner after purchase—unlike, say, someone driving their car into a lake—and it impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle, then it’s considered “substantial.”

If your car meets the terms of substantial defect, the dealer and/or manufacturer get a “reasonable” number of cracks at repairing it. Up to four repair attempts is commonly considered reasonable, but serious safety defects may qualify after just one attempt. A car may also be deemed a lemon if it has exceeded “x” number of days in the shop in a given year.

Contact An Attorney If You Are A Victim of Lemon Law

If you qualify as the not-so-proud owner of a lemon, you have the right to a refund or replacement car. If the manufacturer offers a
settlement you’re not happy with, proceed to arbitration. Lemon-law arbitration is a free, nonjudicial process in which an arbitrator analyzes all the information of the case and determines what the reward should be. In most states, arbitration is binding on the manufacturer; however, the consumer may appeal the decision in court.

If you believe you’ve been saddled with a lemon, contact a lemon-law attorney to protect your rights.

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