How to Avoid Lemon Law Horror Stories
Norman Taylor & Associates
October 15, 2023
Buying a new car is an exciting experience, but it’s important to be aware of the risks involved. One of the most frustrating things that can happen is discovering your brand-new vehicle is a lemon.
No one expects to buy a lemon, but it happens. And when it does, it can be a costly and time-consuming ordeal. To avoid this fate, here are three common lemon law horror stories and what you can do to prevent them.
- Get a Pre-sale Inspection for Used Cars
- Do You Own Research When Buying a Car
- Hire a Lawyer
Don’t rely on a vehicle history report when you buy a used car. These reports can be inaccurate or incomplete and may not reveal all the car’s problems. Unscrupulous sellers may even falsify them.
Get a pre-sale inspection (PPI) from a certified mechanic to protect yourself from buying a lemon. During a PPI, the mechanic will inspect the car for cosmetic, mechanical, and safety problems.
A PPI is worth the investment. It can give you peace of mind knowing you’re making an informed decision about the car’s true condition.
Whether you’re purchasing a new or used car, research before buying. Car dealerships may tell you the vehicle is perfect, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any recalls. Even new cars can have recalls discovered early on.
For used cars, it’s crucial to check for recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a search tool where you can enter the car’s VIN to see if there are any active or past recalls.
Having a recall doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the car. But knowing about the problem and having proof of its resolution can protect you if it comes back. Most recall issues are fixed, but if the car turns out to be a lemon, having a record of the recalls can be helpful.
Most dealerships and manufacturers want to fix your car problem, but they also want to make money. So, they might not be quick to replace or refund a lemon.
If you think you have a lemon, talk to a lawyer right away. A lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and decide if you have a case. If you do go to court, they’ll fight for you.
What Qualifies as a Lemon?
Your vehicle must meet the following criteria to qualify as a lemon car in California:
- The vehicle must be covered by a warranty.
- The car must have a defect that substantially impairs its use, value, or safety.
- The defect must not be caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications by the consumer.
- The manufacturer must have had a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the defect but has failed to do so.
If your car meets these criteria, you may be eligible for a refund or replacement vehicle under the California Lemon Law.
Contact Our California Lemon Law Firm
Do you have a 2016 or newer lemon car? We can help.
At Norman Taylor & Associates, we specialize in helping California consumers get the compensation they deserve. Our team of experienced attorneys will fight for your rights and help you get the best possible outcome.Schedule my consultation