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Know Your Lemon Law Rights

Buying a new car is always an exciting venture, but one that many Pennsylvania residents come to regret. In some instances, a new vehicle ships off the line with a defect that interferes with the vehicle’s safety, usability, and value. While a manufacturer warranty may cover repairs, there is still a significant lifestyle disruption that can affect your ability to work or enjoy life. 

Most Pennsylvania residents don’t know that state and federal laws protect them if they buy a so-called lemon. If you’ve struggled with a defective vehicle, you may have legal recourse to either financial compensation or a replacement vehicle, depending on the circumstances.

What Is a Lemon?

A lemon is a car or personal truck used for personal family and household use that has a defect that substantially impairs its utility and value. Pennsylvania has a range of state lemon laws covering consumer rights and manufacturer responsibilities regarding new cars. These laws protect consumers and give you legal recourse if you’ve received a lemon.

Pennsylvania Lemon Law Fast Facts

Pennsylvania lemon laws cover any purchased or leased car or personal truck for the first 12 years or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Manufacturers have to provide free repairs to cars with non-conformities for the first 12 months of purchase, first 12,000 miles, or within the expiration term of the manufacturer warranty. 

If you bought a car with a non-conformity that has undergone a reasonable number of repair attempts that failed to solve the issue, or if your vehicle has spent a cumulative total of 30 days at the repair shop, the manufacturer must:

  • Replace the vehicle with a similar model of equivalent value, or
  • Refund the full purchase price of the vehicle

There are also several federal consumer protection laws that fall outside of the scope of the Lemon Laws but still protect owners of vehicles that undergo consistent repair attempts while under warranty. These also cover motorcycles as a consumer good, giving motorcyclists legal recourse as well.

Pennsylvania lemon laws require that the manufacturer pays for all legal fees if you win your case. This means that hiring a lemon law attorney is always cost-free for you, and there is no risk in pursuing the case.

What to Do if You’ve Bought a Lemon

If you’re sick of dealing with the frustration of a defective vehicle, give J.P. Ward & Associates’ Pennsylvania Lemon Law Attorneys a call. We offer free consultations where we’ll review your circumstances and decide if you have a case. If you’re covered by Pennsylvania lemon laws, we’ll pursue the case to the fullest extent of the law and protect your consumer rights. 

Many consumers worry about the legal fees involved in a lemon law case. However, under Pennsylvania law, you don’t have to pay for anything, whether you win or lose your case, meaning there’s no risk and potential benefits. 

Call J.P. Ward & Associates at (412) 426-4878 to find out what legal recourse you have today!

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What Is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

In the early 1960s, consumers were subject to misleading language and one-sided warranties that protected the manufacturer or seller more than the consumer. The Federal Trade Commission conducted a study that showed that the majority of warranties at the time were unfair to the consumer. There was also a lot of misleading language about limited warranty, full warranty, and express warranties, as well as ‘guarantees.’ 

To combat this, the government issued the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in 1975.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers from defective consumer goods and unscrupulous sellers of consumer products. It’s a federal law that applies to all products over $25 that come with an express written warranty. Under this law, any product that is in the warranty period that fails to get repaired within a reasonable amount of attempts is eligible for either a refund of the purchase price or a complete replacement. 

Magnuson-Moss Warranty and Lemon Cars

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act has a big impact on the rights of car buyers and the duties of car manufacturers. While state laws in Pennsylvania cover lemon cars, the Magnuson-Moss act also covers motorcycles and expands the scope of state law. 

In practical terms, this means that any person who buys a car for personal family or household use has certain rights. If you buy a defective vehicle that’s still within the warranty period, the manufacturer has a ‘reasonable number’ of chances to repair the car. If it fails to do so, you are entitled to a full refund of the purchase price or a replacement vehicle of similar style and value. 

Do You Have a Lemon Car?

Buying a car should be a pleasant experience that opens up new opportunities. However, manufacturer defects can make the purchase a never-ending visit to various repair shops while you watch the warranty run out. 

Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Pennsylvania lemon laws, you have legal recourse to either a replacement or refund of your lemon within certain terms and conditions. Navigating these laws by yourself can be challenging, which is why J.P. Ward & Associates is here to help.

 At J.P. Ward & Associates, our team of attorneys is here to help protect your rights. If you’ve bought a defective product and believe the seller or manufacturer is in breach of warranty, we can offer you legal advice on how to proceed. Give us a call at (412) 426-4878 and schedule a free consultation today!

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7 Tips About Pennsylvania Lemon Law

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. 

Document Everything

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.