There’s nothing better than driving off the lot in a brand new car. That fresh smell….everything is shiny and new. It’s the perfect combination of pride and happiness, a pure euphoria. And then something goes wrong. You get the car fixed. It happens again…..that euphoria fades, giving way to frustration, sadness, and even anger as you realize you may be on the verge of having a Lemon Law claim.
If you think you have a defective car, we thought we would provide you with the do’s and don’ts when it comes to potentially filing a Lemon Law claim. This list is based on 24 years experience so we hope you will take advantage of it.
DO take the car back immediately when the problem surfaces, and make sure you are very specific with your service adviser about the problem. Is it a water leak? Where is it originating from? Hearing a strange noise in your front end? At what speeds? Car veering? In what direction? The more clues you provide the service department, the more likely they will be able to verify and hopefully fix the issue promptly.
DO make sure you keep all of your repair invoices. Your repair invoices provide vital information in the event that you do need to file a claim–mileage in, mileage out, the problem, what was done to fix the problem, and how many days the car was in the shop. Keep all your service records in one safe, convenient place.
DO continue to bring the car back if the problem resurfaces. The success behind a Lemon Law or breach of warranty claim is illustrating the problem is continuing despite repeated repair attempts. If you stop going into the shop, it appears the problem is either fixed or is not impairing the usage of the car.
DO be respectful of the service personnel. Please remember that they are trying their best to do their job and fix your car. Sometimes, this is out of their hands. If you are nice to them, chances are they will be nice to you.
DON’T leave the dealership without your repair invoice. Dealers may say they are keeping a ticket open or they will mail you the invoice. Kindly tell them that is not acceptable and insist on something in writing with all the prevalent information you need regarding the repair in case you do need to file a Lemon Law or breach of warranty claim.
DON’T start threatening lawsuits in the middle of the dealer. Under State Lemon Laws and Federal Warranty laws, the manufacturers are the defendants, not the dealer. If you go into the shop making threats, they will put a red flag on your file and they could possibly discontinue service. You do not want this to happen.
DON’T stop making car payments. The dealership and the manufacturer already have their money. If you stop making payments, you could have a voluntary repossession on your hand, meaning you could be sued by the bank and your credit could be ruined for seven years.
DON’T just get rid of the vehicle and take the financial loss without at least talking to a Lemon Law lawyer. Many claims are successfully resolved in a matter of months and could significantly improve your financial situation. If you give up, the car company wins.
Have more questions about your Lemon Law rights? Feel free to ask away by clicking here.