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Signs Your Car May Be a Lemon and Lemon Laws May Apply

You just bought a brand new car, but a few days later, you start noticing some issues. The car stalls at stop signs, the check engine light keeps coming on, or maybe the transmission feels like it’s slipping. Could you have ended up with a lemon? Unfortunately, even new cars sometimes turn out to be duds. 

But don’t worry – lemon laws are there to protect you as a consumer. Keep reading to learn the signs your new car might qualify as a lemon, and what protections lemon laws provide from a lemon law lawyer San Deigo-based.

1. You Have Ongoing Mechanical Issues

If you find yourself bringing your new car into the mechanic multiple times for the same defect within the first year or two of owning it, you likely have a lemon on your hands. Lemon laws vary by state, but generally kick in when either a single defect isn’t fixed after three or four repair attempts, or when the car has spent a certain number of days total in the shop for various issues. 

Document all your repair attempts and save the invoices and communications with the dealer. This evidence will come in handy if you pursue legal action under your state’s lemon laws later.

2. Safety Features Don’t Work Properly

Few things are scarier than realizing your car isn’t stopping or steering properly while you’re driving down the highway. If you’ve had incidents where the brakes, airbags, or other critical safety components fail or underperform – even after repairs – your ride may qualify as a lemon. 

No one should have to drive an unsafe vehicle, especially one they just purchased. Make sure to report safety defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) too, so they can investigate potential manufacturing issues.

3. You Experience Buyer’s Remorse

That slick new car looked so good on the lot, but now you regret buying it. Does it burn through gas faster than advertised? Feel cheaply made? Maybe it’s just too small or impractical for your lifestyle needs, which you didn’t realize until after driving it for a bit. 

If serious buyer’s remorse sets in fast, don’t ignore it or assume you just need to “get used to” the car. You may have an option to unwind the purchase if your state has strong buyer’s remorse laws.

4. Your Car Spends Lots of Time in the Shop

Like we mentioned earlier, most lemon laws come into play once your car has spent a set number of days in the repair shop – usually between 20 and 30 days total. If your new car keeps having to go back to the dealer for fixes, make sure to save your repair orders. 

Track how many days add up between the various shop visits. If you hit that magic number defined in your state’s lemon law during the first year or two of ownership, you’ll have a case to pursue a claim.

5. You Notice Cosmetic Issues Too

While lemon laws firmly focus on mechanical defects, don’t ignore consistent aesthetic issues with a new car either. Sure, having a scratch or paint bubble is no big deal. But if you spot cracked glass, parts not properly fitted, rust under the paint, or fabrics fraying – on a vehicle you just drove off the lot – that hints at problems with overall workmanship quality. 

Multiple cosmetic defects bolster a lemon law claim. And you just shouldn’t have craftsmanship issues with a brand-new automobile.

Purchasing a defective vehicle can quickly spiral into a stressful mess. But lemon laws empower you to push back. Educate yourself on your rights in your state, know which agencies to contact for help, and don’t let car manufacturers take advantage of you. 

Nobody should be stuck driving a lemon! With some savvy consumer skills under your belt, you can either get the car fixed properly or qualify for a full refund or replacement.

Alex Carey
Alex Carey
Alex Carey is working as a Content Marketing Specialist at The Technoverts. He loves to write and share content related to the latest technical research. He is also a soccer lover.

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