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Automobile Lemon Law

PA Lemon Law FAQs

Pennsylvania Lemon Law -
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

How does the PA Lemon Law work?

The Pennsylvania Lemon Law covers drivers whose vehicles suffer a nonconformity or defect within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first, that can't be repaired after repeated attempts (normally 3) by the manufacturers authorized dealership. The PA Lemon Law covers cars purchased or leased in Pennsylvania, or registered for the first time in Pennsylvania.

Does a problem always need to occur three times to be considered a lemon?

Not necessarily. There are exceptions; If your car is in the shop 30 days or more in the first year, consecutive or not, we can file a claim under the Law. Likewise, if you are experiencing paint problems, the same kind of problem (electrical, water leak in the back versus water leak in the front, front brakes and then back brakes and then front brakes again), or if it is a significant problem that has occurred two or more times.

What happens if I fall outside the 12 months/12,000 miles before my first problem exists? Does this mean I do not have a claim?

No. If you are having continuous problems and your car is under a manufacturer's warranty, we can still help under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.

How does the PA Lemon Law offer cost-free representation?

The Pennsylvania Lemon law contains a fee-shifting provision which means that if the consumer prevails, the manufacturer must pay all attorney fees and legal costs on top of what you receive. If you submit a claim to Kimmel & Silverman, and we accept your case, you will not pay anything out of pocket, win or lose. The fee-shifting provision gives you equal footing when battling against a multi-billion dollar automobile manufacturer.

Are leased cars covered under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law?

Yes, effective February 2002, leased cars are covered under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law. In his capacity as Legal Consultant to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Consumer Affairs Committee, Craig Thor Kimmel assisted with House Bill 767, which expanded protection to an additional 20% of all Pennsylvania new car buyers.

Are motorcycles covered under the PA Lemon Law?

No, but we are working on it. Recently, two Kimmel & Silverman attorneys, Jacqueline Herritt and Louis Dobi, testified in front of the House on behalf of motorcycle riders throughout the Commonwealth. Many other states do offer this protection and we feel PA drivers should be treated in the same manner. In the meantime, we ARE representing Pennsylvania Motorcycle Drivers through the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, so if you are experiencing problems with your bike, please do not hesitate to submit your information for our review. We have successfully handled many motorcycle breach of warranty cases throughout the state and we offer the same cost-free representation as we do under the Lemon Law.

I have had my car for only a few days and already I am having problems with it. Can I just return it to the dealership?

No. Problems can occur immediately, but if you are interested in opening a Pennsylvania Lemon Law claim, you must follow proper procedures. That means making an appointment to have your car examined and repaired, and securing a repair invoice when you pick up your car. Make sure the invoice properly outlines all of the problems you disclosed to the service manager. We also suggest you keep a personal log of your repair visits and PLEASE HOLD ON TO THE INVOICES. This does not mean that we can't help you if you don't have the invoices (we can subpoena them if necessary) but it does make your case move along smoother. DO NOT JUST DROP OFF YOUR CAR AND KEYS AT A DEALER AND SAY "I DON'T WANT THIS CAR ANYMORE." THEY COULD COUNT IT AS A VOLUNTARY REPOSSESION AND IT COULD NEGATIVELY AFFECT YOUR CREDIT! IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS, CONSULT A CONSUMER ATTORNEY, BE IT US OR SOMEONE ELSE.

Are used cars covered under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law?

This is the #1 question we receive at Kimmel & Silverman. Unfortunately, most used cars are not covered under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law, but hold on... don't get discouraged yet ...If you have a manufacturer's warranty, original or extended, we can still help you under the aforementioned Mag Moss Act.

The only way used cars are covered under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law is if the car had a lemon history and that was not disclosed by the dealer prior to the purchase. Click here to read about tighter title provisions added to the PA Lemon Law in December, 2002. If this has happened to you, e-mail us as soon as possible and we will be happy to assist you.

Also, if a dealer misrepresents a car at the time of sale, you may have rights under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices Act. We encourage you to contact us to find out if and how we can be of assistance in these matters.

I have so many more questions. Who can I ask?

Ask away. Give us a call at 1-800-LEMON-LAW (1-800-536-6652) 24 hours a day or feel free to e-mail us and we will be glad to get back to you as soon as possible.

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Are you driving a used car with a manufacturers warranty? You still have rights!

Offices in Eastern & Western Pennsylvania Serving ALL of PA including:

- Pittsburgh
- Philadelphia
- Scranton & Wilkes Barre
- Harrisburg & Lancaster
- Erie

Eastern PA Office:

30 East Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002

Western PA Office:

100 Ross Street
Suite 330
Pittsburgh, PA 15219