With the introduction of lemon laws, car owners who end up buying defective products do not necessarily have to endure the stress of making endless visits to their mechanics to get their cars fixed. Lemon laws allow car buyers to claim for damages compensation from their vehicle vendors in case their cars cannot be fixed within a “reasonable opportunity.” While these laws may not necessarily apply, it is important for every user to understand his lemon law rights to avoid buying a product or vehicle that will need endless repairs. For purposes of this discussion, this article focuses on things to know about the lemon law. Read on to find out more.
Three things to know about lemon law
1. Lemon laws specifically apply to motor vehicles
In the US, most state laws especially apply to motor vehicles, requiring the manufacturer to replace the vehicle or refund the money, if, during the first one to two years of ownership, the car has suffered at least three to four repairs for the same problem. The law can also apply if the vehicle has been out of service on grounds of repair more than one month.
While most state lemon laws such as California and Illinois are usually limited to new cars, other states have passed specific lemon laws that protect owners of used vehicles and consumer products such as computers and motor homes.
2. There must always be a warranty
Irrespective of the product involved, there must always be a guarantee for the lemon law to apply. Where the automobile is bought from a private seller after the guarantee has expired, the product is not covered by the state or federal lemon laws, although certain consumer protection laws may apply. In many cases, the manufacturer is usually the defendant.
3. Federal law can fill in where state laws fall short
In circumstances where the state lemon law falls short, the federal law can apply, for instance, by extending the lemon law period far beyond the state law hence making guarantors liable for any defects for up to four years after the manufacturer`s guarantee has expired. This provision gives a cash refund, especially where the guarantor cannot make the vehicle or product free from defects within a realistic opportunity. It can also apply is some cases to other consumer products like computers and Motor homes.
At the end of the day, it is important to know that it is the responsibility of the state to mediate between the product consumer and the vehicle manufacturer to get the automobile replaced or repaired, or even money refunded.