We are getting more and more calls on the 1-800 LEMON LAW hotline from distressed drivers who are waiting for parts that are on back order. They can’t understand why it takes so long to get their car fixed, and they are fed up with driving a loaner car for a month or more while they are awaiting the arrival of their part, normally from abroad.
As we have previously reported, when the companies were trying to cut costs in the troubling economy, they closed down many of their factories. The end result is that in many cases, they do not have the materials and manpower to ensure that parts are available in a quick and timely manner. It’s the nature of the beast and no matter how hard they try to fix this situation, there is very little they can do. If you have a problem that is not occurring in many vehicles, they are not prepared because they are not laying out funds to have parts just sit around.If it is regarding a problem that is occurring in a number of cars, they simply cannot fulfill the demand.
So, if your part is on back order and you find yourself without your car for a long period of time, what can be done?
The good news is most State Lemon Laws define a lemon as a car that is in the shop for an extended amount of time within a set period. The Pennsylvania Lemon Law, for instance, defines a lemon as a car that is in the shop 30 or more days within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles. The New Jersey Lemon Law defines a lemon as a car in the shop 20 or more days within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles. The New York Lemon Law covers drivers whose vehicles suffer a nonconformity or defect within the first 24 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first, that can’t be repaired after repeated attempts (normally 3-4) by the manufacturers authorized dealership.To check out your state’s statute, click here. In most cases, these days do NOT have to be consecutive, nor do they have to be for the same issue.Make sure sure that when your car is finally ready that you receive a repair invoice which clearly outlines the amount of time that car was in the shop.
Then contact us or another consumer attorney to look into your rights under the Lemon Law. Under the Law, you may be entitled to a new car or complete repurchase. Even if the car is fixed you could be looking a significant monetary compensation to reflect the diminished value of the car (plus you would get to keep the vehicle.) It’s really important that you know your rights and you fight for what is yours, especially since the the legal representation is free.
So what if you fall outside of the Lemon Law parameters, but your car is still sitting in the shop wasting a month or two away. Please still get in touch with us. We have successfully argued that this is a violation of the manufacturers warranty and we have been able to assist many consumers with monetary damages for breach of warranty as a result.