Who doesn’t get excited about getting behind the wheel of a new car, whether it’s new “new” or new “used”?

The first few days of driving are always magical. You and your new ride are getting to know each other like newlyweds on their honeymoon. You’re eager to show off your new purchase to everyone you know.

Then problems start cropping up. The honeymoon phase is over. You suspect that you’ve bought a “lemon.”

You’ve heard about the lemon law and that gives you hope. You just want a clean “divorce” and get rid of the sour taste in your mouth from having bought a lemon.

Can you get your money back or at least get something out of the ordeal? It’s possible. Continue reading to learn about lemon laws.

What Is the Lemon Law?

Lemon laws were enacted for two reasons. The first reason is to take defective and potentially dangerous vehicles off the road.

Is There a Lemon Law for Used Cars?

Second, lemon laws are designed to protect consumers who bought those defective automobiles. They require either the dealer or manufacturer to replace the vehicle or give a full refund.

Bear in mind that aside from the federal lemon law, there are individual state laws. The protections vary from state to state, like lemon law California or Florida lemon law. If you live in New York, you’ll have to review the state’s lemon law for more info.

Is Your Car Covered?

We mentioned that each state has its own lemon laws. This means that each state has its own definition of what qualifies as a lemon. While the laws won’t apply to every situation, in general, the vehicle must be under warranty during the period that the problems happened.

Most state lemon laws will consider your car a “lemon” if it satisfies any of the following:

• The substantial defect cannot be fixed after a “reasonable number of times,” usually three to four.
• A safety defect is not fixed within two attempts.
• Your vehicle has been out of service due to repairs for thirty days (need not be consecutive).
• The repairs happened during the first 12 to 24 months or within the first 12,000 to 18,000 miles.

Your Car Meets the Definition of a Lemon, Now What?

The success of your claim hinges on three things. These are: good record-keeping, giving the right notice, and using an arbitration program where required.

Keeping detailed records of every repair is crucial if the case goes to court. The records are evidence that the manufacturer had ample opportunities to fix your car but could not.

How Much Can I Get for My Junk Car on Average?

If you believe that your vehicle is a lemon, you must properly notify the manufacturer. You may need to send a certified written letter. Follow your state’s notice requirement.

An arbitration clause may have been included when you bought the car. In this case, instead of going to court, you have to take the dispute to arbitration. Make sure to have a copy of the procedures and that they’re being followed.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

If the claim steps are too much for you to handle, consider hiring a lemon law attorney. Remember that the other side wants to win too, and they’ll likely have lawyers on their corner as well. Hiring a lawyer will not only give you peace of mind but will also increase your chances of winning.

For more legal tips and advice, feel free to browse the other articles on our site.