As you can expect, Monday mornings are quite busy for us. Often times, we are going through 25-40 voice mails from consumers who have left messages on the 1-800 LEMON LAW hotline over the weekend. This week, we received our first-ever call from a used car dealer. The dealer, based in Delaware, was complaining that folks threaten him with the Lemon Law, even though he knows that his cars are too old to fall under the Lemon Law. He asked us if we could include information in our ads about what qualifies under the Lemon Law and what does not.
Obviously due to time and money constraints, that request is completely unfeasible. However, our website does provide an extensive overview on what qualifies under each state’s Lemon Law. And we always encourage consumers to call us if they have a question about their individual situation.
After listening to this message, we have to wonder why all of these folks threaten him with the Lemon Law and wonder if it’s regarding the quality of the cars he sells. Thus, in the spirit of educating consumers, we think it is imperative to remind used car buyers to raise a red flag if:
**A used car dealer refuses to provide a carfax on the vehicle.
**The dealer cannot provide an affirmative answer on whether the car has an accident history. (You MUST ask if the car has been in accident. Unless the car has a salvage title or frame damage, a dealer does not need to disclose this information unless asked.)
**The dealer refuses to allow you have an outside mechanic check out the car prior to purchase. This may cost a little bit of money but it will save you a lot of money and aggravation “down the road.”
**You purchase a car without a warranty. Ideally, we would like you to buy a car with a manufacturers warranty so it can be fixed by an authorized dealership if something goes wrong. However, even if you choose to buy the car at your local mom and pop shop, it is imperative that you purchase a warranty and research both the warranty company and the components covered under the policy. Sometimes, these dealers sell warranties that are not worth the paper they are written on. It’s a case of buyer beware.
Of course, when buying a used car, we always encourage you to bring along our lemon dodger worksheet. This worksheet provides the questions you need to ask to make sure you are getting the msot car for your money.
And if your used car is under a manufacturers warranty or has been in the shop an extended period of time, give us a call at 1-800 LEMON LAW (1-800-536-6652). You could be looking at significant compensation under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.
Happy buying and safe driving!