When you bought your new car, everything seemed to be working perfectly. But you've since realized that the starter is prone to malfunctioning. After a few mornings of almost being late for work and a trip to the mechanic, the problem doesn't seem to be any better. Were you sold a lemon? And, if so, what do you do next?
Find Out All That You Can
Just like dealing with doctor, your car can benefit from a second opinion. Before you write your problem off as solely the cars fault, take your car to a second mechanic, and if the issue remains unresolved after this visit, then start your research and prepare to move on to the next step.
- Ask around. Use online forums, chat boards and reviews to see if other buyers are having similar problems with the type of car that you've purchased.
- Check recall lists. If a manufacturing error has affected enough vehicles, a recall may be issued. And while you should be notified by mail if your car has been included in a recall, you should still check all public notifications just to be sure.
- What is your state's law? All 50 states have lemon laws, but not all state lemon laws are the same. For example, find out how many repair attempts must be made within a certain amount of time before you can open a complaint with your dealer.
The Lemon Process
While each state defines a "lemon" a little differently, at least two points are consistent across the board. 1) Do you use the vehicle for personal/family/household purposes? A car that is used strictly for business will not qualify for buy-back or replacement. 2) Is the vehicle under warranty? Generally, lemon laws only apply to defects that are covered by warranty.
- Start with the dealer. Take the paperwork from your service visits to the dealership where the car was purchased. State your case clearly, and ask your representative if you are eligible for a buy-back or a replacement, in accordance with the state lemon law. If the dealership agrees with the petition, then your work is done. Otherwise, you will have to pursue legal action.
- Consider Hiring an Attorney. If your dealer is uncooperative and you're forced to take your complaint to court, you may want to obtain a lawyer. Even though you’ll have to pay more out of pocket for the benefit of council, you'll increase your chances of winning the case.
- Have your day in court. If it is determined by the court that you have been sold a lemon, as defined by your state's law, the dealer will be forced to make amends. They will either be ordered to buy the car back at a price that includes your purchase price, taxes and any dealer-installed options, or they will have to give you a replacement vehicle that is either identical or comparable to the original vehicle.
Do you Need to Start Over?
If the car that you're driving is a safety hazard just because it is too old and unreliable, we can help you get better transportation with an auto loan that you can afford. And don't let a troubled credit history hold you back. Here at Auto Credit Express, we are special finance experts who are able to work with almost every kind of credit. Just fill out our fast and secure online application to get started today.