When you purchase or lease a new motor vehicle, you justifiably expect that it will provide reliable transportation and safety as marketed by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, many consumers find their new car, truck, or SUV have significant defects or faults that the dealer fails to repair successfully. Fortunately, state and federal lemon laws provide many people with a way to obtain a refund, replacement vehicle, or settlement. This page provides answers to some commonly asked questions for consumers who have purchased or leased a new car that turns out to be a lemon.
Frequently Asked Questions about New Auto Lemon Law Claims
Our lemon law firm sees many consumers who have taken their vehicle back to the dealer time and time again without obtaining satisfaction in the form of a properly repaired vehicle or some other reasonable alternative. Consumers who do not understand their rights and potential remedies under state and federal lemon laws are at a distinct disadvantage.
Can I get a car dealer to replace my vehicle without hiring a lawyer?
While the answer should be yes, the reality is that many consumers give up and drive around a lemon because the car dealership will not stand behind its vehicle. Consumers that attempt to resolve lemon law disputes through telephone calls and letters to the dealer are almost never successful. When consumers mention lemon laws, refunds, or vehicle replacement, they usually are met with endless calls back and forth and unreturned messages.
A common and effective tactic used by car dealerships involves pretending to investigate and resolve your claim. The dealer might seem sincere about solving your problem, but the real objective is a war of attrition. The hope is that you will give up due to physical and mental exhaustion. The ultimate goal is to have you scrap the vehicle or sell it as-is. This dynamic changes dramatically when the dealer knows that you have an experienced lemon law attorney with a track record of successful consumer protection claims.
When consumers negotiate without an experienced lemon law attorney, the agreement might be executed without a thorough reading and understanding of the fine print regarding the refund provision. Another trap for the unwary consumer is a deviation between the language of the contract and the negotiated terms.
What Are Lemon Laws?
Before the enactment of lemon laws, consumers had few protections, so auto manufacturers or dealers were not quick to respond to a breach of warranty claim given individual buyer’s limited bargaining power. Many consumers were relegated to covering their own repair costs or agreeing to unfavorable trade-in terms. Lemon laws essentially define a lemon and require a vehicle manufacturer to provide a replacement vehicle or a partial or total refund if a lemon is sold or leased by a consumer. Because state lemon laws define a lemon in terms of the number of failed repair attempts or the appropriate timeframe for completion of repairs, consumers do not have to litigate contentious issues about what constitutes a lemon.
Can I obtain a refund if the new vehicle I purchase turns out to be a lemon?
While the answer to this question depends on your circumstances, many consumers receive a complete refund or other forms of financial relief. We often hear from consumers who the auto dealer or manufacturer has tried to deceive into believing that lemon laws only apply to late-model or new vehicles. In reality, many state lemon laws cover used car purchases or leases. Even in states where the lemon law is limited to new vehicles, federal lemon laws often provide protection to used car buyers or lessees.
How much of a retainer will I need to afford a lemon law attorney?
One of the benefits provided by lemon laws is that they authorize an attorney fee award for consumers who prevail in their lemon law claim. At Stern Law, PLLC, we do not charge a retainer for consumers pursuing a lemon law claim. We are confident in our ability to prevail in the lemon law cases. We seek an attorney fee award that is distinct from the recovery awarded to our clients for their lemons, such as a replacement vehicle, refund of the amount paid, or settlement. With over thirty years of experience taking on large corporations, Ken Stern does not need to charge his clients a retainer to be assured his attorney’s fees will be covered.
Contact Us – Lemon Law Attorneys
Lemon law attorney Ken Stern provides reasonably timely returned calls and emails and clear easy to understand answers regarding your rights and remedies. You are invited to contact Stern Law, PLLC about your lemon vehicle by calling 844-808-7529 or submitting a case evaluation form.