What are the Responsibilities of a Car Manufacturer if I have a Lemon?
One of the worst things an auto buyer can experience is to find out that what they were sold was actually a lemon. Whether it be due to a used car being gussied up in order to appear newer than it actually is or if it is the case of a new car being pushed out by the manufacturer of the car, knowing that the car has problems that will drain the new owner’s bank account. When this happens, it can become a real headache to figure out what your avenues are for fixing the problem, especially considering that some states tend to handle lemons in a different way than others. In order to make the process go more smoothly, we will examine the responsibilities of car manufacturers when it comes to you getting a lemon from them.
What responsibilities do car manufacturers have when they make a lemon?
Ultimately, there are going to be a few factors we have to analyze in order to understand who is responsible for your automobile turning out to be a lemon. As discussed above, at times it can be that the manufacturer had absolutely nothing to do with why the vehicle was a lemon in the first place, such is often the case with lemon cars bought from a used car dealership. So before you go and try to place the blame on the manufacturer themselves, you need to figure that out. If not, you may end up wasting time and money pursuing the wrong party. You also need to provide adequate evidence to suggest that your car qualifies as a lemon. Your claim may be dismissed entirely if you are unable to provide it. Evidence may vary depending on the state, but in California for instance, the standards for lemon classification involves a good faith effort on your part to get multiple things fixed (at least two), among other things, including four or more attempts to fix a warranty problem, a problem which takes the vehicle out of service for a minimum of 30 days, and/or any problems that cause your vehicle’s performance, value, and/or safety reduced from what was advertised. Some auto manufacturers may decide to be less cooperative than is ideal, making it that much more of a headache to get a refund for or replacement of your lemon vehicle. In the event that such a thing happens, getting in contact with an attorney who specializes in lemon law, particularly with experience dealing with troublesome auto manufacturers. Such an attorney can even help you determine whether your vehicle fits the standards of a lemon vehicle, if you are having trouble determining that on your own.
Once all of the proof is established and you can actually get things under way, you are likely going to be wondering what exactly the auto manufacturer owes to you. Some states are not necessarily going to be as generous in how it handles lemon vehicles, though California’s laws are particularly favorable to aggrieved lemon owners. In the event that you are stuck with a lemon vehicle and it is found that a manufacturer defect is the reason why the car failed to be as good as advertised, the auto manufacturer will be expected to take accountability for compensating you for what you are out. Not only is an auto manufacturer expected to compensate you in full, either with a non-defective replacement or full compensation of the initial purchase price, but the auto manufacturer is also expected to not drag their heels in accomplishing this. All too often, an auto manufacturer has tried to simply make it too frustrating to deal with it, trying to tie up the situation until you simply grow tired of trying to get what you are owed. After all, a corporation is typically going to want to avoid having to pay out when they are expected to take responsibility for their actions. It is thanks to strong California lemon laws as well as competent attorneys in that specific field that it is that much more difficult for auto manufacturers to use their superior finances and superior access to legal representation to avoid paying out what they owe through a war of attrition with a customer.
One of the best pieces of advice for people who have bought or worry about buying a lemon vehicle is to always be diligent in figuring out whether you want to buy from a certain auto manufacturer. A certain vehicle may be nice, but if you look up reviews for the vehicle or the company and find people consistently expressing disappointment with what they got, your best bet is to steer clear and research other auto manufacturers. This is a major purchase, so make sure that you take it with the utmost seriousness.
If you feel that you have been wronged by a manufacturer and have been sold a lemon vehicle and feel that a manufacturer defect is the problem, be sure to contact a lemon law attorney right away so that they can properly represent your interests.