With so many brands of vehicles on the road in California, it can be stressful wondering how to avoid buying a Lemon. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Statistics, approximately 11.5 million cars were sold in the United States in 2020. Of these, an estimated 150,000 new cars are Lemons. That’s a lot of Lemons!
There are a few ways to reduce your chances of buying a Lemon. Some of the steps you can take include:
- Doing your research on the most (and least) reliable car brands
- Test drive the car before buying it
- Find out the reputation of the car dealer before buying
- Check the car for a sticker indicating it has been returned as a Lemon Law Buy Back Vehicle
- Check consumer protection and auto websites for reports of problems with a specific model
What is the Difference Between a Lemon and a Recall?
If you are wondering how to avoid buying a Lemon, you could be wondering what the difference is between a Recall and a Lemon. The two are similar, but there are important differences. Both provide you with important consumer protections. In California, a Lemon is a car that:
- The manufacturer has failed to repair after a reasonable number of repair attempts;
- Started having issues within 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchase; and
- Was still under warranty when problems began.
If your car is a Lemon, the manufacturer is required to buy it back from you, give you a replacement vehicle, or settle the case with you. A car can be a Lemon with a major safety issue, but it can also be a Lemon with a basic mechanical problem. A Lemon always refers to just one vehicle.
A recall on the other hand happens after the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) fields consumer complaints, conducts an investigation, and issues a recall on many vehicles with safety issues.
When vehicles are recalled, it is due to a safety defect affecting a large group of vehicles. To see if your vehicle is subject to any recalls, check the NHTSA Recall site. Many manufacturers issue recalls on their own to avoid the government issuing one.
If a car is recalled, the manufacturer is required to repair the car, replace the vehicle, or give the consumer a refund. However, a car isn’t eligible for free repairs under a recall if it is more than 15 years old.
What Should I do if I Purchased a Lemon?
If you got stuck with a Lemon, it is important that you take the right steps. Make sure that you take the vehicle in for repairs with the dealer/manufacturer so the problems are properly documented pursuant to the warranty. Maintain records of all repair attempts and all of your costs.
The next step is to call the Lemon Law Lawyers at Alpha Law Firm. With Alpha Law Firm you speak to an attorney from start to finish. We will help you get cash for your defective vehicle. Contact us right away for your free consultation to see if you have a case.