Understanding the Lemon Law

Besides the homes we rent or buy, our cars are some of the most significant investments that we will ever make in life.


It's not always easy to get the resources needed to buy a new (or new to us) vehicle.

For this reason, buying a car just to have it break down on you can be frustrating and very disappointing. If your vehicle isn't living up to what is listed in the warranty, chances are that you purchased a lemon.

What Is a Lemon?

A lemon is a bad car or other product, plain and simple. A true lemon is one that has ongoing problems within a short period of time after purchase.

No product is guaranteed to work forever, but in the case that the problems existed before the car was purchased and the buyer wasn't warned, the car can be considered a lemon.

What Can I Do If I Buy a Lemon?

If you suspect that you may have purchased a lemon, the first thing to do is check out what the lemon law is in your state.

Lemon laws vary from state to state. Your law should lay out just what the criteria are for a car or other product to be classified as a lemon.

After researching your state's law, if you find that your car can be considered a lemon, the next thing to do is notify the seller or dealership.

In most cases, the law requires that the car be fixed up to warranty standards after it has been deemed the responsibility of the manufacturer. Many sellers will shirk responsibility. In this case, it may be necessary to take the lemon law issue to a court of law. If that happens, it's a good idea to hire a lemon law attorney to help you win your case.

Keep in mind that your vehicle or other product must still be covered by the warranty. Once the warranty has expired, winning the complaint about your lemon is next to impossible.

Even if your claim is valid, the manufacturer may do everything in their power to disprove your claim. Clear and consistent documentation of related vehicle issues is a must!

In some states, you're at more of a disadvantage with lemon law arbitration than with other states. Certain states back you up pretty well with their lemon law. California is a good example of that. Other states, such as Georgia, may not be the best states for filing a lemon law lawsuit.

Buying a car, or any product for that matter, should be an exciting time, not one of disappointment and frustration! If you feel like you may have purchased a lemon, check the laws in your state. From there, you may want to look into hiring a lemon law lawyer.

NOTE:The information here is not legal advice and is only presented to you so you can know your options if you purchased a lemon. As with any legal issue, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.


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