We get all sorts of calls at 1-800 LEMON LAW and after handling over 65,000 cases, we certainly know the right way and the wrong way to handle a lemon car. Of course, there are those consumers who call, ask us a million questions, and then go against our advice and move ahead with what they think is the correct way to handle the situation. Many times, they call us weeks later asking us to get involved. Sometimes, we can and sometimes, they kill their rights and there is nothing we can do. Here are the three top blunders we see among consumers:
1) THREATENING THE DEALERSHIP — As we have reported many times before, in State Lemon Law and Federal Warranty Claims, the defendant is the MANUFACTURER, not the dealer. The dealer is responsible for fixing the car under the warranty. They get paid by the manufacturer every time they fix your car. When it comes to getting the car repaired, you are at the dealer’s mercy. Thus screaming “I am going to sue you” at the top of your lungs is not really accomplishing anything. Do you want them to be flexible around your schedule? Take the time to hear and address your concerns? Offer you a loaner car? Then, you need to be respectful of their job. You will be surprised as to how many dealers whisper our number to their customers. Why? Because they want their customers happy and they know we can help free of charge. The only time this does not happen is when….
2) YOU INADVERTENTLY TRADE THE CAR IN. Dealers are out to make money and sometimes, dealers see lemon cars as potential money makers for them. So, they will say to the customer “You have a lemon. Let’s take that car off your hands.” And, they present a brand new car to the customer. The customer thinks “This is great. I got rid of my lemon and I am getting a brand new car. I don’t need a lawyer.” The customer signs all the new paperwork and then they are shocked when they are socked for a huge bill later on. They didn’t use the Lemon Law; they traded the car in and by not reaching out to a lawyer for free legal help, they now are sometimes tens of thousands of dollars in the hole. HUGE MISTAKE and it happens a lot. Dealers cannot solve lemon law claims. If they say otherwise, get it in writing first and have it reviewed by us or another consumer law firm.
3) NOT DOING ANYTHING BECAUSE YOUR CAR IS FINALLY FIXED. Don’t get us wrong. We are thrilled that after 5 repair attempts, that front end noise is gone or that check engine light is off. But, you paid for a manufacturers warranty that guaranteed that problems were fixed efficiently and effectively and they were not. Under the law, you could be entitled to monetary compensation and continued ownership of the car. It’s lovely that you don’t want to give the manufacturer a tough time now that the problem is fixed. But once your warranty expires, do you think they will treat you with the same kindness? Use your rights. This is your hard-earned money and you are entitled to compensation if you did not get what you paid for.
Certainly, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at 1800 LEMON LAW (1-800-536-6652) or fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form.