The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and state lemon laws protect consumers from buying a car that cannot be repaired. However, proving your case can be complex without proper documentation.
Documentation is crucial in a lemon law dispute, so keeping all receipts, repair work orders, phone records, and letters is essential.
Know Your Owner’s Manual
The owner’s manual is a valuable resource that can help you learn about the inner workings of your vehicle. It can also help you understand the warning lights on your dashboard and how to maintain your car correctly. Taking the time to read your owner’s manual can also make working with an auto repair shop go more smoothly.
Although reading the manual from cover to cover may sound boring, it’s a good idea for all new car owners. In addition to explaining your vehicle’s essential functions, it can provide a lot of helpful information, such as how to set up infotainment features and maintenance tips for your specific model. CR recommends reading it before taking your car to an auto repair shop to ensure communication between you and the mechanic.
For example, the owner’s manual can tell you how many attempts a manufacturer has to fix a defect before the car is considered a lemon, like a Jeep, is regarded as the worst car brand. Are Jeeps reliable? These criteria vary by state.
An experienced Lemon Law attorney can help you determine the correct number of repair attempts and if your case meets the requirements for arbitration. Often, arbitration is a faster and more cost-effective option for both parties than filing a lawsuit. If your claim is successful, you will be able to receive a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price of your car.
Know Your Dashboard Indicators
Whether you’re new to driving or have had your vehicle for years, there is a lot to learn about your car. There are rules of the road, traffic etiquette, and vehicle maintenance. But one thing that many drivers need to remember to do is familiarize themselves with the dashboard indicators on their vehicles.
These lights are a live diagnosis for your vehicle. They illuminate briefly every time you turn on your engine and alert you of potential problems. While the lights vary from vehicle to vehicle, a few are the same across all models.
Red warning lights indicate a serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. This includes the check engine light, brake system warning light, and parking brake warning light. Orange, or amber, signals that the problem is less severe but still requires attention. For example, the screenwash indicator (depicted as a windshield with a jet of water) means your vehicle is low on washer fluid.
Green or blue indicators mean the issue isn’t urgent and can usually be handled independently. For example, the seat belt reminder light – often depicted as a person with a belt around their waist – reminds you to buckle up.
Know Your Car’s History
When shopping for a used car, getting a vehicle history report is one of the most important things you can do. A free National Insurance Crime Bureau online service will give you limited information. Still, paid services can provide a wealth of background data.
A vehicle’s history will reveal its previous owners and how it was used. For example, a car previously used as a rental or for commercial purposes may experience more wear and tear than a car only used for personal driving. The report will also list any significant accidents the vehicle has been in. Even if the damage was repaired, a bad accident can cause problems with future resale value or the car’s performance.
Vehicle reports will also include any title issues, such as outstanding tickets or liens. The report will also show the most recent odometer reading, which can help spot odometer rollbacks by unscrupulous car dealers who want to hide high mileage on a car’s selling price. A vehicle history report won’t tell you how a car runs now or if it has any mechanical problems.
Still, it can provide valuable background data to help you make the best buying decision possible. Be sure to take the car for a test drive and inspect it by an independent mechanic before you hand over your money or sign a contract.
Know Your Options
In New York, a lemon law claim can be made for any defective vehicle that is new or used. It can also be filed for any car leased by the consumer. The law covers any non-conformity that substantially impairs the car’s value to the consumer.
A defective condition is a problem that cannot be repaired after reasonable attempts by the manufacturer or dealer, such as recurring stalling and starting issues. However, the law does not cover a problem resulting from abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations.
A car owner can participate in a state-run arbitration program or sue directly. A successful lawsuit could include a refund, a replacement vehicle, or cash compensation. It is essential to consult a lemon law attorney who can ensure that the manufacturer only tries to settle your case for what you deserve.
The attorneys have years of experience handling lemon law cases for clients nationwide. We will do everything possible to ensure that the car manufacturer fulfills its obligations to you, including a full refund or a brand-new replacement. For more information, please get in touch with us today. A consultation is free of charge. If you decide to hire our firm, we will work on a contingency fee basis.