When Can You “Lemon” a Car?

You have bought a brand-new car and feel great about your purchase! But it seems something isn’t right! There’s a clicking noise, a defective paint job or a horrible smell you hadn’t noticed before.

Advice from us! Take these red flags seriously! Also be ready to spend long periods without your vehicle and more money than the car truly costs in the repair shops.

Well, we know you will experience nerve-wracking days trying to fix your car problems and miss the good old times when you were in love with your new purchase. But that’s not the end of the world.

Just take a look at the below to understand if your car is a “lemon” and how likely it is to get a refund or replace a vehicle with a new one according to Lemon Laws.


What Qualifies as a Lemon?

Under the law of most states, the car must have a “substantial defect” that isn’t caused by the owner after the purchase and continue to have the defect after a number of repair attempts in order to qualify as a lemon.

It’s more than clear that minor defects such as a broken knob, faulty radio or anything that can be fixed with a simple repair don’t pose any risks or affect a significant function of the car.

However, a substantial defect is a problem that impairs the vehicle’s normal use, safety, or value, such as faulty brakes or steering.

In plain English, your car must have serious issues that affect the safety, value, and reliability of the vehicle in order to be considered a lemon.

In all states, the substantial defect must occur within a certain time period or within a certain number of miles. For example, California Lemon Law allows a time period of 18 months or 18,000 miles, whereas Georgia allows for 12 months or 12,000 miles, and New York calls for a period of 24 months or 18,000 miles.

If your car has a substantial defect, you must allow the manufacturer to make a reasonable number of attempts to repair the defect, before the car is declared a lemon.

However, the so-called reasonable number of attempts varies from state to state. For example, according to California Lemon Law, your vehicle is considered to be a lemon if;

  •         there were 4 or more repair attempts for the same issue;
  •         there were 2 or more repair attempts to fix an issue that can cause injury or death; or
  •         your vehicle is out of service for more than 30 days for any repairs.

As already mentioned, all this should occur within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchasing or leasing your vehicle.

After that, the consumer is entitled to demand to replace the car with a like model, or a full refund.


What If Your Car is a “Lemon”

If you believe your car is a “lemon” after reading all this, don’t hesitate to check your state’s lemon laws and find out how Lemon Law claims are handled where you live!

However, you practically can’t handle the problem yourself. Thus stop wasting efforts and contact our experienced lemon law attorneys at Margarian law firm today to discuss your lemon law rights.

Be sure by choosing Margarian law firm you will again experience those exciting moments of having a brand new car!