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What To Do If Your Car Is A Lemon

Mandy MayerMandy Mayer

Purchasing a vehicle is not a small task, and usually tends to make a huge dent in the bank account. The last thing any buyer wants to find out is that the car they bought is defective. If you have purchased a car that is defective or subject to multiple repair attempts, it is very possible that you have a lemon car. 

What Is A Lemon Car? 

Lemon law statutes vary from state to state, but all concern making it easier for the buyer to sue a dealer or manufacturer for selling a lemon car. In California, the  Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act,  requires manufacturers to repair defective vehicles within a reasonable amount of time or within a reasonable number of repair attempts within the manufacturer’s applicable warranty period. If after a “reasonable” number of repair attempts the manufacturer is not able to repair the vehicle, the consumer is entitled to a replacement vehicle or refund. 

Steps To Take After Realizing Your Car Is A Lemon:

  1. Take Record of All Trips To Auto-Shop:
    • Be sure to track how often you are having to take your car in, and remember, the more detailed the better. In the situation that you do sue, you will be able to use this as evidence. 
  2. Understand the Terms on Your Warranty:
    • Ensure that your vehicle is still under warranty of the manufacturer. If your warranty has expired, you may not be able to take action. If your contract is unclear it may be useful to contact an attorney.
  3. Contact Your Manufacturer:
    • In order to have a case, it must be proven that your car dealership was provided with the adequate amount of time to fix the issues. 
  4. Take Legal Action:
    • If your car dealership or manufacturer does not provide you with an adequate settlement, it is time to contact a lemon law attorney. According to lawyers at Young & Young APC, “Car dealerships and auto manufacturers have “customer assistance” personnel and attorneys that specialize in California lemon law claims.” Hiring an attorney that specializes in lemon law will even out the playing field and give you the advantage you need to receive the compensation you deserve. 

How To Avoid Buying A Lemon Car in the Future

Avoiding the purchase of a lemon car can save you from having to take all the previous steps. It can be very tricky to catch a lemon car before you actually buy it, so it is important to be prepared. When you have narrowed down your car search, ensure that the vehicle you are wanting has not been recalled previously. 

Try to do as extensive a car search as possible before purchase. Check the steering, under the hood, suspension and everything on the exterior and interior. Always remember to read your contract on the vehicle very closely. The more information you have on the car and dealership the better. Lastly, always take the car for a test drive. 

You may unfortunately purchase a lemon car, however the good news is there are laws to protect you. Use this guide and many other resources to repair the damage!

Mandy Mayer

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