Just The Facts M’aam.
A law that actually helps consumers AND provides free legal help?
It seems too good to be true, but the State and Federal Laws do provide equal footing between you and the billion-dollar automobile manufacturer. This provides you the opportunity to have a Lemon Law Attorney who knows and understands the Laws, who has significant experience fighting these types of claims, and who has immediate access to the decision makers and attorneys who represent the manufacturer. This attorney and their staff can also offer additional support throughout a difficult time, providing answers to your questions and helping you deal with obstacles you are facing (i.e. a mechanic not diagnosing a problem properly or at all, a service manager refusing to give you paperwork, job tickets being left open so it seems like you are in the shop less than you are.)
The most common question we receive at 1-800 LEMON LAW is “How do I know my car is a lemon?” So, today on the lemon law blog, we thought we would provide a rundown of the lemon laws in each of the States we work in….But first, answers to five of the most frequently asked questions:
First, YOU CAN NOT RETURN A CAR IN THE FIRST 72 HOURS. This is a common misconception from the days of door-to-door sales, when folks would ring your doorbell and sell you a vacuum or a set of encyclopedias. Once you sign on the dotted line, the car is yours. Period. Make sure that the right price is listed on the contract, make sure you can afford the car, make sure it’s the finance rate you agreed to and for goodness sake, NEVER EVER EVER sign a blank contract!
Second, THE DEFENDANT IS NOT THE DEALER. Yes, we know the dealer is lovely and we know you don’t want to get them in any trouble. But, they don’t make the car. They are the middle man and they have nothing to do with filing a lemon law claim. In fact, when filing a claim, we ask clients not to discuss the case with the service manager or threaten the dealer that you are going to file a suit. We do not want you to create a hostile relationship between you and the dealer. Also, we are NOT a fan of last chance letters. So, you give the dealer a last chance to fix it…and they don’t. Then what? If you don’t have a lawyer to enforce the letter, you are stuck in a catch-22. Again, the law offers FREE Lemon Law Help–Take advantage of it!
Third, EVEN IF YOU FALL OUTSIDE OF THE LEMON LAW, WE STILL MAY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU. Do not be discouraged if you have a used car or a motorcycle or ATV in a state that does not cover them. If your problems are covered under an original or extended manufacturers warranty, you could be entitled to MONETARY COMPENSATION, plus you get to keep your vehicle, your warranty remains in full effect, and the vehicle is NOT branded in any way.
Fourth, EVEN IF YOUR CAR IS FIXED AFTER THE THIRD, FOURTH, OR FIFTH REPAIR, you could still be entitled to compensation. The fact is that every car comes with a manufacturers warranty and that is to ensure that problems are fixed efficiently and effectively and they have not been. So, we feel you are entitled to money back, significant money, to reflect the diminished value of the car as a result of your problems. Again, if you receive money, the car is NOT branded and the warranty is fully in effect. Plus, the money is non-taxable.
Fifth, THERE ARE THREE POSSIBLE REMEDIES UNDER THE LAWS WE WORK WITH. Keep in mind this is a legal process, so there are no guarantees, but here is what we are looking at. Maximum remedy is a full buyback, including taxes, tags, finance charges, etc minus a small mileage offset as prescribed your state. You return your car to the dealer and it is branded a lemon. Second, an MSRP to MSRP swap–MSRP stands for manufacturers suggested retail price–basically, you are getting behind the wheel of a brand new car, with same amount of equity as your old car. It’s trade without depreciation. Third, if we can’t get a buyback or a swap, we aim to get you as much money as possible in compensation to reflect the diminished value as a result of the problem incurred. Plus, as mentioned before, you get to keep the car.
OK–on that note, here’s a quick rundown of the laws in our states. For other states, click here. Have questions? E-mail us or call 1-800 LEMON LAW (1-800-536-6652). Here we go:
Pennsylvania Lemon Law : First problem must occur in first 12 months or 12,000 miles whichever comes first. Problem must occur three or more times under warranty OR the car is in the shop 30 or more days within the first year, and those days do not have to be consecutive. Car must be purchased (or leased) and registered in PA. Motorcycles are not covered under PA Lemon Law (but they are covered under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act so we can still help!)–Kimmel & Silverman was directly responsible for getting leased cars included under the PA Lemon Law.
New Jersey Lemon Law : Second most effective Lemon Law in the Nation! First problem must occur in first 24 months or 18,000 miles which ever comes first. Problem must occur three or more times under warranty OR the car is in the shop for 20 days in the first 24 months and they do not have to be consecutive. Motorcycles are covered under NJ Lemon Law. Vehicle can be purchased, leased or registered in New Jersey.
Delaware Lemon Law : First problem must occur in the first year of ownership. Problem must occur four or more times under warranty OR the car is in the shop 30 or more BUSINESS days in the first year. Vehicle can be purchased, leased or registered in Delaware. Motorcycles are not covered under DE Lemon Law (but they are covered under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act so we can still help!)
Massachusetts Lemon Law: First problem must occur in the first year or 15,000 miles whichever comes first. Problem must occur three or more times under warranty OR the car is in the shop 15 BUSINESS days in the first year. Motorcycles are not covered under MA Lemon Law (but they are covered under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act so we can still help!)
Ohio Lemon Law : First problem must occur in the first year or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. Problem must occur three or more times under warranty OR eight problems must occur OR in the shop 30 or more days in the first year. Motorcycles are covered under the OH Lemon Law.
Vermont Lemon Law: First problem must occur three times under warranty period OR in the shop 30 days. Vehciles may be purchased or registered in Vermont. Motorcycles are not covered under VT Lemon Law (but they are covered under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act so we can still help!)
Washington DC Lemon Law : First problem must occur three or more times in the first 2 years or 18,000 miles. Problem must occur 4 or more times under warranty OR be in the shop 30 days in the first two years. Motorcycles are not covered under DC Lemon Law (but they are covered under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act so we can still help!)
For more information on your rights, visit lemon law. com or one of our favorite National lemon law websites, Lemon Law America.
April 2nd, 2009 at 9:06 pm
I didn’t know motorcycles and some ATV models weren’t protected in some states, like Delaware, interesting.