A “lemon” refers to a vehicle that has significant defects or mechanical problems that impair its safety, value and/or usability. Lemon laws vary by jurisdiction, but they generally provide protection to consumers who have unknowingly purchased a defective vehicle.
Yet, all too often, consumers who are in a strong position to take legal action in the wake of purchasing a lemon simply conclude that they are the victims of bad luck. They attempt to repair their vehicle repeatedly, not realizing that they should be seeking legal guidance in addition to speaking with a mechanic. Here are some of the signs that indicate that you may have unintentionally purchased a lemon.
Persistent mechanical issues
If your vehicle experiences recurring or persistent mechanical problems that cannot be adequately resolved, this may be a sign of a lemon purchase. These issues could include engine or transmission problems, electrical malfunctions, brake failures, steering issues or frequent breakdowns. Despite repeated repair attempts, the issues persist, indicating a potential defect.
A lemon vehicle may pose safety risks to both its driver and passengers. If your vehicle exhibits safety-related problems such as faulty airbags, defective brakes, sudden loss of power or unrepaired recalls, it could be considered a lemon. These issues compromise the overall safety of the vehicle and require immediate attention.
The manufacturer’s inability to fix a problem
Lemon laws typically require the manufacturer or authorized dealer to make a reasonable number of repair attempts to fix the defects. If the manufacturer or dealer fails to resolve the issues after a reasonable number of attempts, it may indicate that your vehicle is a lemon. Keep detailed records of repair attempts, including dates, descriptions of the problems and repair invoices.
If your vehicle experiences multiple unrelated defects or if new issues arise soon after previous repairs, it suggests that the vehicle may be prone to problems and could be considered a lemon once specific legal criteria have been met.
If these signs are setting off alarm bells in your head, don’t panic. Simply seek legal guidance to explore your legal options and then take one step at a time to remedy the situation effectively.