Norwell, Mass. (November 2005) – The winter is an ideal time to purchase a car, according to Lemon Law Attorney Craig Thor Kimmel. With an assortment of 2005 and 2006 models on the dealership lots and competitive pricing initiatives, consumers have plenty of opportunities to get behind the wheel of a shiny new car, truck or SUV that fits their lifestyle.
However, drivers need to take certain precautions to make sure they aren't taken for a ride or stuck with a lemon car. "An automobile purchase is something that should not be rushed", warns Kimmel. The nationally-recognized Lemon Lawyer, whose Law Firm has offices in Norwell, offers consumers the following tips:
- RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!. Make sure the car you are looking at has a strong customer satisfaction rating, provides the features that you are looking for, and is priced within your range. Consumer Reports remains an exceptional research tool. Also check out Jack Gillis' "Ultimate Car Book". For pre-owned cars, check out carfax.com and Kelly Blue Book (www.kbb.com). Kimmel's website also offers a Lemon Dodger Worksheet to insure that used car drivers don't discover problems down the road.
- ASK YOUR FAMILY, NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS. These people can provide useful information and recommendations. They may know someone who adores their SUV or someone whose sport car is constantly in the shop. User forums on the internet can also provide some useful perspectives and uncover common complaints consumers have with their particular vehicles.
- KNOW THE MSRP! The MSRP stands for the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Unless a car is in high demand, most dealers will offer their cars at a price that is lower than MSRP. Knowing the MSRP can help you when you are discussing costs. Also, don't forget to call other authorized dealerships to see if they can get a better offer for you. A little legwork can save you thousands and if you are not one who likes to haggle, take along someone who does, or consider one-price shopping offered by Saturn and other manufacturers. Remember, this is your hard-earned money and you want to get the best ride for your dollar.
- TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT! This is a common error in judgment. We often order cars in special colors or with additional features and when they arrive, we sign on the dotted line and drive off. STOP! Before you take possession of the car, you need to check out the exact car you are buying, not one just like it. Make sure you try every feature (i.e. air conditioner, defroster, trunk latch, cruise control, sunroof, etc.) Also take it for a quick test drive before you sign any papers. If something isn't working right, don't sign anything. This is the one time you are in control. Demand perfection.
- DO NOT PURCHASE A USED CAR WITHOUT A MANUFACTURERS' WARRANTY. Make sure that any car you purchase is protected with a warranty from the manufacturer. This is the only way a manufacturer will stand behind a pre-owned vehicle. And make sure that if you are buying a "pre-certified" car, it is certified by the manufacturer, and not the dealership. Otherwise, you will not be protected under the State and Federal Breach of Warranty Statutes.
- KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! If you have purchased a new car or a car with an existing manufacturer's warranty and you have a reoccurring problem that they can't seem to fix, you do have legal rights. If a car is in the shop 15 business days in the first year, or has a reoccurring problem under the manufacturer's original or extended warranty period, you could be entitled to a new car, or a full or partial refund. Best of all, in Massachusetts, there are Federal laws that provide 100% cost-free legal help. Don't be afraid to consult an attorney if needed. For more information regarding your Massachusetts Lemon Law rights, call 1-800-LEMON-LAW or visit www.lemonlaw.com.
Based in Norwell, MA, Kimmel & Silverman is the oldest and largest lemon law and consumer advocacy firm in the Northeast. Founded in 1991, the firm has offices throughout Eastern and Western Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Massachusetts. The Firm has successfully handled over 35,000 cases and has been honored for their efforts by the American Bar Association.
Get rid of your lemon! Call 1-800-LEMON-LAW (1-800-536-6652) for your FREE Lemon Law case review.