Every day, we receive many calls to our 1-800-Lemon Law hotline, and most callers have a common question “Do I have a lemon?” As discussed before, a lemon by definition is a vehicle with a significant non-conformity that affects the use, value or safety of the vehicle, and cannot be repaired within a reasonable number of repair attempts. Each state’s Lemon Law provides a different number of repairs required, a different amount of time in which the first repair needed to be performed, and a number of days in which the car is in the shop to be declared a lemon.
For instance, the PA Lemon Law says the car has to be in the shop three times, with the first problem occurring in the first 12 months or 12,000 miles whichever comes first, or in for 30 days within the first year. (But, please remember that after the Lemon Law parameters ran out, you still have rights under Federal Law as long as you are covered under manufacturers warranty.)
Then, we need to look at the defect. Many folks think that in order for a car to be declared a “lemon,” something needs to go wrong with the engine or transmission, and the car cannot run. This is untrue. Here are just some of the problems we have encountered in our caseload, which have resulted in new cars, full or partial refunds for our clients, in addition to standard no start, engine, and transmission problems:
- Faulty Gas Gauges
- Sliding Doors
- Water Leaks/Mold
- Faulty Door Windows & Locks
- Check Engine Lights
- Brake Problems–constant replacement of rotors, pads etc.
- Pinging Noises/Piston Knock in Engine
- Navigation System Defects
- Faulty Electrical Sensors
- Sunroof Problems
- Steering Fluid Leaks
- Sudden Acceleration/Deceleration
- Constant Replacement of Radio/CD Player
- Oil Consumption
- Convertible tops not retracting
- HVAC problems
The bottom line is as long as the dealer is fixing the problem and billing the repair to your manufacturer’s warranty, it is a defect that could yield compensation. The important thing is to make sure you keep all of your repair invoices, and if you find yourself in three times, TAKE ACTION, either with us or through another avenue. The Laws are in place to help you; take advantage of them.