The Lemon Law – Fact Versus Fiction About Lemon Laws
Over the years, we have worked very hard to spread awareness for the Lemon Law through various venues, including this blog. That being said, we repeatedly come across some similar myths and misconceptions which we hope to straighten out in this entry.
First, we receive calls from folks who say “I know I have a lemon car but I am really close with the dealer. He is my neighbor’s father-in-law’s third cousin once removed. I do not want to get the dealer in trouble.” You will be amazed how many distressed drivers hear about 1-800-LEMON-LAW through their dealerships.
When it comes to the Lemon Law, the defendant is the manufacturer, not the dealer. There is only so much a dealer can do. They cannot offer you a new car or repurchase. It is not their responsibility. Their job is to fix the car under warranty and, with most attempts, they are receiving payment from the manufacturer to address your issues. They are trying to fix the car. They are the middlemen. Threatening to sue them, or raising your voice in the middle of their showroom will do little to resolve your situation.
I would be very weary of a dealer who says “let’s get you behind the wheel of a new car,” because they may be looking to trade you into a new vehicle, which is a big difference from the MSRP-to-MSRP swap you may be entitled to under law. We have seen many occasions where someone thought they were receiving a new car under the Lemon Law. They sign all these documents with reckless abandon and the next thing they know they have a higher car note or are being told they now have negative equity. BE VERY VERY CAREFUL!
Secondly, we hear from the folks who say “This car is a lemon and I am just going to drop it off at the dealership and be done with it.” Sorry Charlie, but that is not the way Lemon Laws work. You need to file a Lemon Law lawsuit against the manufacturer. Abandoning the car is called a voluntary repossession and it could significantly ruin your credit. In addition, the car will be put up for auction and the dealer will sue you for the difference between what you owe and what they received. Taking the law into your own hands like this can have a very negative and costly consequence.
Third, we have the folks who spend 30 minutes on the phone with us, and then say “Now that you explained it to me, I can do this myself,” and promptly hang up. To those folks, we say “good luck.”
We have seen many instances of manufacturers taking complete advantage of an uneducated consumer who has no true knowledge of Lemon Laws, no access to the decision makers, no experts on their side to testify, etc. The Lemon Law says that you are entitled to have an experienced attorney to represent you at no cost to you – someone who knows the laws, who knows cars, who knows the opposing counsel and their strategies. This is what puts the driver and the big car company on equal footing. Why would you want to do this on your own? And then we have those who screw it up on their own and ask us to fix the situation. Sometimes, we can… sometimes, we cannot. Having a Lemon Law Attorney eliminates the time, the red tape, the stress, and the hassle.
If you have a question about Lemon Laws or if you would like to find out if you are entitled to cost-free legal representation, fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form. We will review your situation if and how we can help. If we can, it is at no cost to you, and many times within a very quick amount of time with minimal hassle. The Lemon Law is one law that is on your side. Take advantage of it!