New cars, boats and RVs are some of the biggest investments we make. A defective car, or boat can be worth tens of thousands of dollars less than the consumer paid. A defective RV or large boat may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars less than the consumer paid. Often the dealer or manufacturer knew or should know that they have sold a defective car or RV to the consumer.
Consumers who have problems with new cars, boats or RVs they purchase or lease may be protected by state and federal lemon or consumer fraud laws as enacted in the state where they purchased the lemons. A consumer can demand to get his or her money back or a new car, boat or RV to replaced the defective one. These remedies are available if the vehicle or boat has not been repaired after a reasonable number of attempts during the "warranty" period and the defects substantially impair the vehicle or boat's value, usefulness or safety. You don't have to keep an unsafe or materially defective car, boat or RV that cannot be fixed in a reasonable amount of attempts. You can file suit to get your money back or a replacement.
If you have purchased a lemon, you may be able to sue to obtain:
- A brand new car, boat or RV
- A full refund including interest, taxes, fees, and costs
- A partial refund
A "lemon" is any type of car, RV, truck or motorcycle that continues to have a defect that substantially impairs your ability to use it productively and safely or reduces its value, even after you have made reasonable efforts to repair it. This often means a number of repair attempts to fix the same problem or a directly related problem during a six month to year period depending on the state where you purchased the car, RV or boat. It can also mean the vehicle cannot be used and is in the shop and out of commission for more than 30 non-consecutive days during either: (1) the year after you purchased it; or (2) the duration of any express warranty, whichever period is less.
Our consumer rights attorneys are ready to help customers to get their money back or a replacement vehicle under the New Car Lemon Laws (as applicable in the state where they purchased the vehicle.) We can also assist consumers in retaining an expert to inspect their vehicles who can then testify at trial and on advising them of the legal strategies required to obtain justice. Contact us online to learn more. Our Nationwide Consumer Rights attorneys are also ready to handle cases involving used car, RV and boat lemon law. Where there is a common design defect which is the same in thousands of cars or boats we also pursue class action claims.
New vehicles may contain hidden mechanical defects or flaws in workmanship, caused by design mistakes or errors by workers who built the car, boat or RV at the factory. These errors can range from a part being installed incorrectly to an RV maker hiding a bent frame that causes a quarter million dollar vehicle to tilt. The makers of defective products must own up to their mistakes. The primary objective of new car lemon laws is to force car, boat and RV makers to buy back defective vehicles or replace them with a vehicle that works properly.
To avoid getting stuck with a lemon car, RV or boat here are a few precautions you can take:
- Inspect your new vehicle before taking delivery. If you detect any problems, refuse delivery until the defects have been fixed. Don't accept a dealer's promises that it will take care of everything at the first service. Often times we have seen dealer's promises like this broken.
- Review and keep copies of the manufacturer's brochures, advertisements, warranties and other literature about your car, boat or RV. Any statements the maker makes about performance can assist in obtaining a refund or replacement if a defect prevents the car, boat or RV from living up to the claims.
- Follow the written guidelines provided by the manufacturer for routine maintenance. Keep detailed written records of all service and any problems that come up.
- Whenever you take your car, boat or RV in for repairs, give the service department a dated letter or note (and keep a copy of it in your files) that describes all of the problems you want fixed.
- Get a detailed repair order and receipt each time you take your vehicle in for repairs, even if the repair department can't duplicate, diagnose or fix the problem. Make sure all repair orders indicate how long the vehicle was in for repair.
- Keep the repair orders and other documents regarding the problem in a file at home or in the office. Don't keep the documents in your car, where you could lose them.
For a free confidential consultation with one of our consumer rights protection lawyers, please call us at 630-333-0000 or fill out our intake form on our Contact Us page. We are committed to protecting you.