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Lemon Law Basics Know Your Rights

When it comes to purchasing a new or used vehicle, knowing your rights will likely mean the difference between getting satisfaction and being stuck with a “lemon”.

All states in the nation have some kind of lemon law in place, though the specifics vary from state to state. Here are some of the lemon law basics:

If you believe that the car you’ve purchased is a lemon and you’re ready to do what it takes to get satisfaction from the dealer who sold you the car, there are some specific steps you need to take.

At, lemon law basics start by advising the consumer who thinks they have a lemon to document everything.

This includes every conversation with people at the dealership – their names, role at the dealership, the time and date of the conversations, and what was said.

Consumers should also ask about technical service bulletins notices issued about specific complaints or problems with particular cars.

One of the most important steps is to not be intimidated by the people at the dealership when or if they try to get out of either correcting the problem or providing a refund or new vehicle.

Lemon law basics stem from the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal law passed to protect buyers on products costing more than 25 and coming with a written warranty.

It prevents manufacturers from coming up with unfair warranties for their products. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act also makes it economically feasible to sue manufactures that violate the lemon laws, including some form of restitution and legal fees.

The Consumer Affairs site helps with understanding the lemon law by giving a basic definition of what constitutes a vehicle being classified as a lemon.

The court in your state will likely do the actual determination of whether your particular purchase is, in fact, a lemon. In most states,

manufacturers must provide a refund or replacement for the lemon when the problem can’t be corrected in four attempts, or in the event of a safety defect if it’s not corrected in two tries.

Additionally, a vehicle is considered a lemon if it has been out of service 30 days within the first 12,000 to 18,000 miles or 12-24 months after it was first purchased.

At, consumers can find links to their particular state, which then show them links on where to go to report lemons and/or dealers. It also gives the state statutes as part of the lemon law basics.

Under the lemon law, it must be noted that lemon laws don’t apply strictly to new vehicles, but toward used vehicles as well.

There was a time when it was all but impossible to trace a vehicle’s history and what the vehicle had been through. That has changed with the advent of “Carfax”.

Consumers thinking about purchasing previously owned vehicles can visit and get a history of the vehicle in question in many instances.

The vehicle history can include title information, a flood damage history, total loss by accident, the vehicle’s odometer reading, the vehicle’s lemon history as well as information about how the vehicle was previously used.

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