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Lemon Laws and Used Cars: Protect yourself from being cheated

The used car lemon law has been enacted to protect consumers from being saddled with persistently defective cars. Different states will have different used car lemon laws - so there would be a Florida Lemon Law, a Texas Lemon Law, a New York State Lemon Law, an Ohio Lemon Law, a Califonia Lemon Law, a Georgia Lemon Law, and so on. You would have already figured out that a lemon car is a car that has some kind of manufacturing defects. A lemon used car is a car that continues to have a problem; thereby it is weighed less when it comes to value, safety, and use. Generally if a car has been repaired few times for the same defect and if it is not sorted out, then the car is a lemon.

Used car lemon laws

You may think that your car is a lemon, but your State may not. If it doesn't think so; you cannot do anything about it. So before you term your car as a lemon you must know the State's definition of a lemon car...

Let us say, for example, that when you drive your car it makes a funny sound sometimes but drives fine, or maybe your car paint is peeling off, or the light switch gets worn out even after successive replacements, or causes any other problem of a similar nature then your car is a lemon. Now even with these problems if your car does not cause any major problems then your car is not a lemon.

The important q uestion that you should ask yourself is "Is the car driving fine with the problem?" .If it is then it is not a lemon. But if the brakes do not work well and if the gears jam frequently or if the wheels shake, rock and roll, or if the door opens suddenly when you are driving, or there is any other problem that hampers the driving process, then you have a lemon because these problems "do not allow the car to drive fine".

How used car lemon laws work

Here is how a lemon law typically works. Remember that each state has a different lemon law and you need to check it before you decide to take action. This guideline has been prepared by referring to the general provisions of the Florida lemon law:
  • Lemon laws apply to buyers of new cars and to used cars if they are transferred from the original owner to the buyer within a certain period of time after the original purchase. The car must have been used for personal, family, or household purposes. A state law may not be applicable to trucks weighi ng above a certain number of pounds, motorcycles, cars used for resale purposes, etc.
  • If the car has defects that impair its value, use and safety, then these defects must be reported to the manufacturer or his authorized agent within a certain period.
  • Many laws do not cover defects resulting from accidents neglect or abuse.
  • Consumers must keep all records of service and maintenance, including dates, mileage, receipts, etc.
  • If the vehicle has been sent for rectifying a problem for at least 3 to 4 times and if the problem persists, or if the vehicle is lying with the manufacturer's service agent for more than a certain number of days - usually 15 - for different defects, then the vehicle owner has to give a written notice to the manufacturer by way of express or registered mail.
If the manufacturer does not refund the money or replace the vehicle then the provisions of the lemon law get will apply.. As a result the arbitration process will commence.

Protect your self from buying a lemon

You will find it difficult to believe but it is really easy to protect yourself from buying a lemon. Here are some of the tips and advice:
  • Verify repair visit records and car-servicing records. Check for problem areas that are repeatedly repaired or serviced. Read the repair invoices thoroughly.
  • Check warranty period repair records thoroughly. If the dealer does not provide you with these records then document this fact. Warranty repair records will spell manufacturing defects clearly.
  • Check the vehicle's history by verifying its VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). The report may cost you a few dollars but it is worth every cent, as it will give you records of accidents, mishaps and other important things that you should know when you buy a used car. The Carfax or AutoCheck websites are excellent resources for buying a VIN report. But these reports do not guarantee that the car is accident-free.
By and large, if you are diligent enough in checki ng records and if you hire an expert to inspect a used car, you can avoid a used car lemon. There are lemon laws in every state to protect you.



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