We are producing vehicles at a head-spinning rate these days: almost 74 million worldwide each year. Also consider that the average vehicle has about 30,000 parts. That is a lot of things with the potential to go wrong.
If you are starting your own business, like a pool cleaning business, for example, you are going to need vehicles. You hope that the ones you buy will work the way they are supposed to for years to come.
However, things can and do go wrong. Not every one of those millions of vehicles run correctly. You hope that you aren’t the unlucky soul who purchases a lemon car.
If you do think you have a lemon, there are a few rights and responsibilities you have. We’ve put together a guide to help you get started.
Know Your Rights – The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
The first thing you need to know are the laws that protect you when you end up with a lemon. The FTC is the governing body that comes to your aid and enforces the Magnuson-Moss Act.
This act specifically states:
“It is illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work.”
However, you should note that this doesn’t stop them from denying the warranty if the repair that was done causes other damage or problems.
Know the Lemon Law Procedure for Your State
You can contact an attorney or your state’s Attorney General. They will be able to tell you what the exact procedure is for your state.
You will need to follow this process if you want to be able to have recourse for your vehicle later on. You will find that there are a specific number of times and days that you need to give the dealer so they can make an attempt at repairs.
Is Your Car Eligible
Start by checking to make sure that your vehicle qualifies for Lemon Law protection. If it does, then you can move on to attempting to get your car fixed.
The Repair Process
These rules vary from state to state, but typically, you need to start by notifying the dealer or manufacturer within a certain amount of time. For example, in Florida, you need to take action within 24 months of delivery.
The dealer will have a certain number of times they are given to attempt to make the repairs. Let’s take Florida as an example again. There, they have 3 attempts at repair, and the vehicle must be out of service because of the defect for 15 days or more.
In Texas, for another example, the dealer has four attempts within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles.
The problem with the car also needs to be a serious one that hinders the operation or safety of the vehicle. This means you have a transmission that is faulty or a bad electrical system, or the engine continually fails.
Your best evidence will be your own thorough documentation of everything you do. If you experience problems with the vehicle, document the date, time, and issue each and every time.
Take note of every time you take the car in for repairs. Write down what the dealer told you and who at the dealership said it to you.
These recordings will be what you present to the court if you decide to sue. The better your documentation of the problem, the better chance you have at recovery for your lemon.
Check Your Financials
Don’t forget to check your loan documents. You will find that you need to keep paying your loan even though your car is a lemon.
You agreed to borrow the money, so even though the car is a dud, you are still responsible. The last thing you want to do is stop paying and create more problems for yourself. You could even lose your right to make a claim under the Lemon Law.
Know that dealerships are much more familiar with the lemon law than you. If you suspect that you have bought a lemon, the best thing you can do is consult with an attorney.
They consult with you, review your case, and provide legal advisement on how best to move forward. You can expect to have to pay a fee for representation.
The dealer or manufacturer might pay your legal fees if you win. You should also prepare yourself for the chance that the case will be settled out of court.
Protect Yourself from the Lemons
The best thing you can do is protect yourself from buying the lemons in the future. There is no way to predict which vehicle will turn out to be a lemon.
But what you can do is give yourself peace of mind. Lemonproof can help you learn more about protecting yourself and your business from lemons.
Look for These Signs
While shopping for your business vehicles, there are a few things you can look for to help you avoid potential lemons. They can also help you avoid cars that may not be a lemon, but will still give you a lot of trouble.
First, check the reliability reports of that model vehicle. Some models are just known for being problems from day one.
Second, don’t ever buy a car with a salvage title. These are cars that have experienced a lot of serious damage. They could have been properly repaired, or they could have just been bent back into shape. Why take the risk?
Third, don’t buy a car with a lot of miles on it. This is a sign that the car was used for a lot of test drives or for the dealership’s errands. More miles, more wear and tear, and less warranty left on the car.
Resolve Your Lemon Car Issue
If you suspect that you have bought a lemon for your business, the best thing you can do is inform yourself. You need to know the proper procedures and document everything.
That way you have the most chance at some sort of compensation for your troubles. Your other option is to buy lemon car protection.
You can’t guarantee that you can avoid buying a lemon, but you can take steps to mitigate the expenses when you do buy one.
In addition to lemon protection, you also need insurance, follow his guide for everything you need to know about buying auto insurance for your vehicles.