Up until now, used car buyers in Pennsylvania who ran into problems with their vehicle faced a tough road ahead; but an addendum to the state's Lemon Law has changed that.
With this new addition, any car that was ever a lemon buyback will have to be labeled as such.
The new law will smooth the road ahead for consumers like Mark Czekaj who find out that that they've just bought someone else's old lemon.
Czekaj says that had his used 99' Volkswagen been labeled a lemon when he bought it, he wouldn't be driving it now.
"First of all, I would never have bought the car, number two, if I was even remotely interested in it, I would have gotten it for a better price."
-- Mark Czekaj, Mt. Pleasant
Just two weeks after Czekaj paid for the car, he started having fuel and electrical problems; the same kind of problems that made the manufacturer buy the car back from its first owner.
Consumer Attorney Craig Kimmel describes Czekaj's case as the "perfect scenario" for the new law. "Here's a gentleman who bought a car, wasn't told that it was a Lemon Law buyback -- in fact, it had been," Kimmel adds, "and he's stuck with it."
Kimmel says the Pennsylvania Lemon Law will protect used car buyers like Czekaj from unknowingly buying lemons.
"They will know that the vehicle had been repurchased from a manufacturer. The reasons why and the title will be marked so that they actually will be told and receive notice from PennDOT that their cars were a Lemon Law buyback."
-- Craig Kimmel, Consumer Attorney
If a manufacturer or dealer doesn't disclose a car's sour history, it will have to pay penalties of $2,000 per car and offer consumers a refund or a comparable car at no cost.
Czekaj says the changes should keep other used car shoppers from the headaches he suffered. "It's going to help the average consumer out that's stuck with a car like I did."