Lemon Laws

  • June 30, 2016
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Lemon laws make it easier for the buyer of a new car to sue for damages or have the car replaced if the dealer or manufacturer can’t fix it after a reasonable number of attempts.

Here are the basics on Lemon Laws:

The Magnuson-Moss Act

This is a federal law that protects the buyer of any product that costs more than $25 and comes with a written warranty. The act prevents companies from creating unfair warranties.

The Uniform Commercial Code

The UCC applies to all 50 states. It covers contracts dealing with the sale of products. The UCC gives the buyer the right to a refund or replacement of a lemon. The UCC does not define a lemon, so it’s up to a court to decide.

State-Specific Lemon Laws

Most states have lemon laws too. They define what a lemon is and what can be done if you are sold one. Success in using state lemon laws depends on keeping good records. You also have to provide the right notice and use arbitration where required.

Document Everything

Document everything you have regarding your vehicle.  This includes all repair orders, service records, purchase contracts, warranty book and the owner’s manual that came with your car.

Take Notes

Make sure to write down what you and your dealership or mechanic talk about. Include the date, time and what was discussed.  This includes phone calls and in-person contact.

Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)

Dealerships get alerts for defects or needed repairs in certain models of cars. These aren’t public, but you can often find them on the Internet.  If you don’t ask, your dealer probably will not provide you with this information.  So speak up and ask your technician to write your request on the repair order.

Keep Good Records

Keep each repair order so that you can keep track of the number of times the vehicle has been in the shop, and how many days total your vehicle has been out of service.