Lemon Law 101

Lemon laws are made to protect buyers of defective commodity. A car sold with a hidden flaw that causes the car to be in need of frequent repairs make it a Lemon. The lemon law covers both new and used cars but the faults in a used car needs to larger than the one in a new car for a used car to be seen as a lemon. The fault in the car most be of such nature that they reduces the usability of the car for the buyer or renders the car completely useless. In a new car it is enough that the faults is “spoiling the new car experience” for the car to be considered a “lemon”. Lemon laws vary from state to state and so does the guidelines for arbitration. Lemon laws usually come into play when a vehicle undergoes a specific number of repairs due to defects, when it has been a certain number of days at the shop or if it has certain safety defect that increases the risk in using that vehicle.

The laws are formed to preventing car dealers to take advantage of unknowing car buyers and tricking them into buying defect cars. It is also created to make sure that car manufacturers have to take responsibility for the products they produce and sell. Prior to the lemon law manufacturers and dealers sometimes refused to take their responsibility and referring to that the problem was common in that type of care or tried to intimidate the “lemon” buyers.

The history of the lemon law starts in 1979 with a lady named Rosemary Shahan from lemon Grove. She had bought a lemon that still wasn’t working after waiting 3 months to get it repaired. She then picketed the mechanics for 5 months which created a public outcry against the treatment customers received from mechanics and car dealers. This public outcry became the basis for a citizen movement for lemon laws which formed Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) an organization that made Rosemary Shahan their head. The first states to introduce Lemon laws were Connecticut and California. They introduced lemons laws 1982.

The Center for Auto Safety then started to collect data about how many “lemons” that was sold and the statistics was staggering. They found that over 1.2 million consumers had been “tricked” into buying defective cars. Surveys today suggest that up to 1 000 000 million “lemons” are sold each year.

Connecticut and California was soon to be followed and all US states had introduced lemon laws by the end of 1983. All states created their own rules that suited that state which is the reason why the Lemon laws today look different in different states. The Lemon laws can be said to have been a success as they have improved the consumers position towards car dealers and car manufacturers something that becomes ever more important as the car prices increases.

The best thing to do if you think you have bought a “lemon” is to contact a lemon law attorney that is specialized in your states lemon law. The attorney will be able to tell you if you have a lemon law case and will be able to help you get the compensation that you legally have a right to. It is important that you keep all bills and records of your cars repairs and give them to your attorney to help him determine if you car is a “lemon” and to be able to prove your claims. You should also always remember to read the manual of the car and perform the maintenance that is required for you to maintain your vehicle warranty. Not doing so may prevent you from making any claims based on the lemon laws.