From “All That & More” on NBC10 in Philadelphia (7/14): Councilman Darrell Clarke has listened to his fair share of stories from constituents telling him about how they’ve been duped by used car dealers.
“One lady in particular, she came in, she clearly had her paperwork, the vehicle was clearly damaged, but it was sold to her and she had no recourse,” says Clarke.
Councilman Clarke wanted to change that. “We found out that we locally could impact the law that would allow a person to have some recourse if they bought a used vehicle that had structural damage,” says Clarke.
And so Philadelphia’s first used car Lemon Law was born!
Under the new law, Philadelphia used car buyers get the opportunity to have the car inspected by a mechanic within 72 hours of purchase. If a major problem is found, the buyer can either return it for repair or get a full refund.
Craig Kimmel is a Lemon Law attorney. He says the new law is very much needed because consumers make a lot of mistakes when buying used cars. Mistakes like buying without a manufacturer’s warranty.
Kimmel says, “Dealers specialize in re-conditioning vehicles to look as good as they possibly can when you see them. If you don’t know how a car works and you’re not able to inspect it as a mechanic, the chances are that you’re gambling if you buy a car without a warranty.”
In some cases, Kimmel says people make the mistake of buying a car without asking questions about the car’s accident history.
“Accident history is very important because how a car is put back together not only determines how it performs, but also determines whether or not certain problems that may arise later are going to be covered by the warranty,” says Kimmel.
It is important to always run a vehicle history report, and if you don’t understand the report, ask questions!
Kimmel says that’s one of the mistakes people make; they don’t bring the car to an outside mechanic to look it over before they buy.
“They’ll test drive the car, check for fluids. They’ll make sure the fluids are the right colors so they don’t show signs of contamination or further engine problems,” says Kimmel.
Kimmel continues, “They’ll give you an idea of what your expecting in the future with this car the same way a home inspector would tell you if the new house you’re buying needs a new roof.”
Visit our page on the Philadelphia Lemon Law for more information about the Lemon Law in Philly and your Lemon Law rights.