A lemon is any car that has an irreparable defect that can substantially impair the vehicle’s ability to function. All manufacturers occasionally produce lemons, which is why there are regulations in place to protect consumers.
These laws, sometimes referred to as ‘lemon laws,’ allow people who’ve purchased or leased a new motor vehicle for personal family or household use to bring a claim against a manufacturer for selling a lemon. If you bought a lemon, here are some of our tips to keep in mind before filing a claim.
Know the Restrictions
Lemon laws vary from state to state. One of the major variances is the time period or mileage that the lemon laws cover. In Pennsylvania, lemon laws cover vehicles for 12,000 miles or 12 months after the purchase of the vehicle. If you wait too long, you may lose the chance to file a lemon law claim.
Notify the Manufacturer
You can’t bring a lemon law claim without first notifying the manufacturer of the defect. You must present written notice that outlines the vehicle’s problem and when you first noticed it. Send the written notice via certified mail to prove that the manufacturer received the letter, and bring a copy when you bring your car in for repairs. Also, make a copy of this letter for your records.
A successful claim requires plenty of evidence of the issues with your vehicle. Make sure that you obtain and keep:
- Your purchase or lease agreement
- Financing documentation
- Service history
- Letters to the dealer or manufacturer
- Repair orders – the more detailed, the better
- Rental car receipts
- Tow truck receipts
Also, keep written notes whenever you speak to the manufacturer or dealer in person to ensure that everyone agrees to the content of the meeting. If the mechanic can’t find a problem, make sure that you get written proof, such as ‘No Problem Found’ on the work order.
The more documentation you bring your attorney, the better.
Don’t Neglect Your Vehicle
You may want to completely neglect your vehicle out of frustration, but this just gives the impression that the issues are due to your negligence instead of a manufacturing defect. Stay up to date with any technical service bulletins, conduct your scheduled maintenance, and keep copies of all of these documents.
Don’t Stop Your Finance Payments
It may be annoying to pay for a defective vehicle, but you should keep up with your payments at all costs. Failing to do so will give the manufacturer an opportunity to sue you for non-payment. You’ll get all your money back after a successful claim, so keep all payment records intact.
Decide What You Want
There are many ways to remediate a lemon claim. Your attorney will outline all your options. By choosing whether you want a refund or a replacement helps everyone focus on the end goal instead of chasing irrelevant distractions.
Speak to a Professional
Under Pennsylvania lemon law, manufacturers cover your court costs if your claim succeeds. You have nothing to lose by working with the best lemon law attorneys in Pennsylvania. J.P. Ward & Associates’ Pennsylvania Lemon Law Attorneys aim to protect our client’s rights no matter what. Give us a call today at (412) 426-4878 and find out if we can help you.