Getting a lemon of a vehicle can be extremely frustrating. Not only do you have to deal with the stress of having to figure out how to deal with a faulty vehicle, you also have to figure out the finances that go along with it.
For many, the purchase of a vehicle is second in cost only to owning a home. When such a large investment goes awry it is wise to have a basic understanding of the Lemon Law.
Just what is a "lemon"? A lemon is defined as a vehicle that has needed either a minimum of three repair attempts or has been out of service for at least 30 calendar days.
Are consumers protected from "lemons"? In short, the answer is yes. States have laws that are designed to protect consumers from faulty vehicles.
A recent publication by the Better Business Bureau discusses Pennsylvania's Lemon Law. Three FAQs that can be helpful for all auto owners include:
- When does the Lemon Law apply? The law applies to any new vehicle that is designed to be driven on the road and does not seat more than 15 people. For protections to apply under Pennsylvania's Lemon Law, the vehicle must either have been purchased and registered in the state or purchased elsewhere but registered first in Pennsylvania.
- What about lessees? As of 2002, lessee's of new vehicles that leased or purchased the vehicle for personal, family or household uses also qualify for protections under this law.
- How long do I have? Generally, the statute of limitations applies for about four years after the date that the owner discovers the issue. However, there are limitations on when the issue can be discovered. In most cases, the issue must be discovered either within the first 12,000 miles, following one year of delivery to the owner or within the term of the warranty, whichever is the shortest.
If you believe that your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, it is wise to seek legal counsel. Remedies including repair and refund of the cost to purchase the vehicle may be available. An experienced attorney can review your situation and help better ensure your rights are protected.