Buying a car can take a lot of time and stress. The last thing you would want is to eventually find out that you were sold a lemon car. A lemon car is a vehicle that has serious mechanical problems that were not initially disclosed to you during the buying process. This can be extremely frustrating, however there are steps you can take to receive the compensation you deserve.
Review Your Contract
First things first, check your contract. Specifically, look for any warranty or lemon law provisions that may apply. Contracts can be wordy and lengthy, but read the fine print for any disclosure that the car was sold “as is” or any similar disclaimers of responsibility for the condition of the vehicle.
Research The Vehicle
Determine if the vehicle you purchased has had previous auto-recalls. These reports are a wealth of information about the car. Ownership history, details about accidents and the damages sustained, and completed repairs can all be found in a vehicle history report. If your car has had multiple recalls this may be a warning sign that you have a lemon on your hands.
Document All Issues
Remember that the more thorough you are with your notes the better. This includes any mechanical issues, number of repair attempts, defects, or safety issues. Details about technician and auto shop names are important to note. Document any photos you are able to take of the problem.
Contact the Seller or Manufacturer
Once you have all of your proof gathered, contact the seller or manufacturer. Explain the issues you have had and provide all documentation, remember to be polite but firm. Oftentimes you will meet with the dealership manager and you can ask what can be done about your concerns. It is crucial that you follow-up after, and take notes from the meetings.
Seek Legal Advice
Ensure that you are not being taken advantage of, and speak to an experienced lemon law lawyer. They can advise you about your rights and determine a strategy for the best course to pursue. An attorney may be able to negotiate with the seller or the manufacturer so that you receive a refund or a vehicle replacement.
Prevention is Key
Moving forward or if you are in the process of buying a car, do everything possible to prevent buying a lemon. Obviously, the easiest way to deal with a lemon car is to not buy it in the first place. Follow these steps when purchasing a vehicle to see if it may be a lemon.
● Always test drive the car.
● Inspect for any damage.
● Check the car warranty.
Turn Your Lemon Into Lemonade
It is important to note that lemon law varies from state to state, so be sure to take this into account while doing research. Some states have a minimum number of repair attempts required before a car can officially be considered a lemon.
Buying a lemon car is not an enjoyable experience, however you can receive the compensation you deserve. If you follow these steps and your vehicle still turns out to be a lemon, an attorney experienced with your state’s lemon laws can potentially turn the situation around for you.