You’ve just bought a new car, yet it has many issues, and you suspect it to be a lemon. What do you need to do in that situation? Do you go to the dealer and yell at them? Do you need to go to repair shops to verify your suspicion? We’re here to give you answers to those questions.
What Defines a Car as a “Lemon”?
In most state laws, a lemon car is a brand new vehicle with concerning defects that are not of your faults and can’t be fixed even after several repair attempts. And by “Concerning”, we mean that those defects must be proven to be potentially impairing the car’s function, value, and safety.
Usually, you should first contact the car’s manufacturer or dealer, and tell them your suspicion. Under federal law, they have opportunities to repair the car 3 or 4 times within 12 months. And if the same problems persist after that, you should consider hiring an independent and professional mechanic to diagnose your car. Only with that expert assessment, you can proceed to hire a lawyer and get a refund or replacement.
Do remember that any DIY (Do-It-Yourself) repair attempts can be used against your claim. Even if you are sure that you do not further the damages, it can be perceived as an act of negligence in the court. Therefore, to make sure that you don’t do anything against the legal procedures, you must consult a lemon car lawyer before you take further steps. Check this Nevada-based Amar Law Group. They have amazing records on assisting people with lemon cars.
Should You Get a Refund or a Replacement Car?
As mentioned previously, different states have different lemon laws, and it means that you may, or you may not have the options for the compensation. For instance, in Virginia, you need to collect these following documents:
- The complete contract of the vehicle purchase
- Sales tax
- License fees
- Title fees
- Finance charges
- Dealer add-ons
- Factory-installed options
- Incidental damages
- Details of expenses related to the repair attempts
If you can fulfill them all, then you can proceed with your claim for a full refund. This option is preferable if you lose your trust in the manufacturer. Remember, though, that manufacturers will often offer a higher series of their cars to compensate for your disappointment.
Should You Accept an Arbitration?
If you are not familiar with the term, arbitration is a legal negotiation to resolve a dispute. The difference between arbitration and mediation is that the final decision is not up to the parties in dispute, but the arbitrators. It is like a private court. And you have to know about it because lemon car litigation is just like any other lawsuits. It is time-consuming, arduous, and not cheap.
Therefore, if there is an offer for arbitration, you’d better accept it. However, you must consult your decision with your lawyer first because they are your key to winning the case.