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Used Car Lemon Law

Used Car Lemon Laws and free used car checks on any used car.


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Information about a Used Car Lemon Law and how to avoid a lemon

About this Website
We are an association of consumer advocates that are sick and tired of the dirty business practices of used auto dealers. We offer free car fact checks to avoid rip-offs.

We outline ways for working class Americans to avoid buying lemons, suffering financial loss and excess emotional distress at the hands of a greedy used car dealership.

Find a VIN Number
You can find your vehicle's VIN number from the car itself. A VIN is visible on the lower right hand (driver's side) corner of the dash when looking through the front windshield. The VIN is need for used car fact reports. The VIN is also printed inside the drivers door on the frame. You may also find the VIN on registrations, titles and proof of insurance cards.

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Get a Free Car History Check or get a complete Used Car Report online for any used car. You will need a VIN number. Locate the VIN Number Here.


Lemon Law Overview

The lemon car lawsuits overview provides consumers who are the first purchaser/lessee of a new motor vehicle, which is registered for a gross weight of 12,000 pounds or less, a procedure to follow and a remedy if they discover their new car is a "lemon."

If a new vehicle turns out to be defective and has not been repaired after a "reasonable number of attempts," the law requires the manufacturer to replace the vehicle with one of equal value or refund the purchase/lease price and collateral costs, less an allowance for actual use. A Used Car History Search can be done to check the car title.

Only a small number of new vehicles are likely to be declared "lemons." However, all new vehicle buyers/lessees benefit from this law. The manufacturer and dealer have a stronger economic incentive to deliver vehicles which are free from defects and, if problems develop, to correct them quickly.

This lemon car law encourages vehicle manufacturers to establish third-party dispute settlement programs to settle consumer disputes. Decisions made through these programs are binding only on the manufacturer, not on the consumer. A Used Car History Check is the best option to aviod a lemon.

This lemon law clearly spells out the responsibilities of the consumer, the dealer and the manufacturer. This law does not limit any other rights or remedies available to consumers under other provisions of law.

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Lemon Car Law Tips

  • As a consumer, you never know if the vehicle you purchase/lease will turn out to be a "lemon." However, there are several things you can do to take full advantage of the Lemon Law's protection.

  • Read and understand the warranty BEFORE the sale/lease. Make sure you know exactly what is covered and for how long.

  • Before taking delivery of your new or used vehicle, inspect it. If any problems are noticed, refuse delivery until they are corrected.

  • Read, understand and follow maintenance requirements in the owner's manual. Keep records of all car maintenance to prove, if necessary, the defect was not caused by your abuse or negligence.

  • If problems develop, contact the dealer as soon as possible. Keep a record of the date and nature of all repairs made to your car. Be sure to obtain a copy of the service order from the dealer stating exactly what repairs were made to your vehicle.

  • Keep a record of all contacts made to the dealer or manufacturer. Keep copies of all letters and records of all telephone calls. This may later help prove what was said and may also avoid misunderstandings.

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Manufacturers Responsibility

Essentially, the Lemon Law requires manufacturers to meet the terms of all warranties. The manufacturer must repair or correct any defect or condition which "substantially impairs the use and value of the vehicle," during the warranty period or during the period of one year following delivery of the vehicle to the consumer, whichever is the earlier date.

If the manufacturer or authorized dealer has been unable to repair the condition after a "reasonable number of attempts," then, under the law, the consumer may be entitled to a replacement vehicle of equal value or a refund of the full purchase/lease price and collateral costs, less an allowance for the consumer's use.

The law for lemons presumes that a "reasonable number of attempts" have been made after:

  • Four unsuccessful attempts to repair the same defect; or

  • A car has been out of service due to warranty repairs for at least 30 cumulative calendar days during the warranty period or during the year following the date of delivery to the consumer, whichever is earlier; or

  • There have been 10 or more attempts during the warranty period or during the first year of ownership, whichever is earlier, to repair various defects which "substantially impair the use and value of the motor vehicle."

However, the manufacturer does not have to make a refund or replace the motor vehicle if:

  • The defect does not substantially impair the use and value of the motor vehicle; or

  • The condition is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized alterations of the vehicle by the consumer.

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Consumer's Responsibility

Simply because there have been a "reasonable number of attempts" to repair a defect does not, in itself, make a consumer automatically eligible for a refund or replacement vehicle.

Notify the manufacturer or authorized dealer of the problem during the warranty period or during the year following delivery of the vehicle, whichever is the earlier date.

If the manufacturer has an informal dispute settlement program, and most do, the consumer must first attempt to resolve the complaint through this program.

If the consumer is still dissatisfied after taking these steps, he or she should contact an attorney or file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.

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If you believe your vehicle qualifies for a refund or replacement, take these steps

  • Contact the dealer from whom you purchased/leased the vehicle and voice your position. Try to speak with the owner of the dealership. If that is not possible, speak with the general manager or new vehicle sales manager.

  • Write to the manufacturer explaining your position.

  • File a complaint with the appropriate dispute settlement program for the manufacturer.

  • Finally, if you have not obtained satisfactory results after taking these steps, contact an attorney or file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.

  • See your automobile's owner's manual, warranty information or your dealer for the address of the manufacturer's regional office.

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