In today’s episode, Chuck explains the limitations and benefits of filing a lemon law claim for your car, RV, or motorcycle!
Hello Folks. I’m going to talk about something that I normally don’t talk about because I do this as well too, they are lemon law claims. And the only reason I started doing this was four years ago I bought a new vehicle. It was a General Motors product and I had some issues with it and they couldn’t fix it. So, I eventually looked at my warranty book, figured out what my Rights and Remedies were and presented a Lemon Law claim. And General Motors uses the Better Business Bureau and I ended up having to arbitrate it, which is like a little, mini, informal trial. And I got what I paid for the vehicle. That’s the only time in all the Lemon Law claims that I’ve done where I actually had to go that far.
But here’s what the law is… a new car has a twenty-four thousand-mile, two-year warranty, if you will, under the Lemon Law. In other words, if you have more than forty… excuse me, if you have more than four times at the dealer for the same issue or something related or the car is out of service total time thirty days or more, you can make a claim under the Lemon Law. And that’s irrespective of your factory warranty, which is presumably going to be way past twenty-four thousand-miles or two years. Used cars, fifteen days from the day you buy it or five hundred miles, whichever comes first.
The car has to have a major malfunction; and typically, the phone calls that I receive are I bought this car Monday and it got towed back to the dealer Tuesday. And it’s now been thirty-five days or two weeks or something and they keep telling me they’re fixing it or ordering the parts and they don’t. That’s a great used car Lemon Law claim. What you do in that particular situation, is you rescind the sale. Meaning I’m out of this deal. You put it in writing, you hand deliver it to the dealer, get proof that you did that. You know, maybe a video of you handing it to the guy or somebody with you when you do that or send it certified mail, return receipt. Federal Express with a receipt. And now they’ve got notice that you want out.
There’s a lot of that going on because used cars are… there’s a shortage of them right now. Shortage of new cars too from what I understand. But they’re moving cars and typically people that go to a used car lot on somebody’s corner are paying twenty-nine percent interest and the cars are high mileage. You’ve got that fifteen-day warranty or five hundred miles. You take advantage of that. You know, if the stereo doesn’t work, that’s not going to cut it. But the dealer is obligated to try to fix it. I mean they have a duty to try and fix it; and you have to let them try to fix it.
A lot of these dealers think well while they are holding the vehicle, stringing you out, that they are going to run up that fifteen days. That’s not the way it works. If they’ve got your vehicle and they’re trying to fix it they say, that fifteen days is told. In other words, it stops. So, that’s not counted against that fifteen days. So, you get it back one day, you drive it away, and you get it towed the next day. Well, back to square one again. Okay? So, don’t let that fifteen days run while that vehicle is in your possession. I’m not talking about the dealer again, when it is in your possession.
This also applies to the chassis. Lemon Laws used or new apply to the chassis of RVs. A lot of RVs being sold right now, new and used. The market is red hot because of Covid. Everybody’s traveling on the road. You have the same warranty, same rights there; but it’s only the chassis. It’s not the box with your bedroom and your toilet and everything else in it. That’s another issue.
But if you buy a used vehicle, buy an after-market warranty that’s solid. There’s plenty of companies out there that actually have good ones. Look at the exclusions or the exceptions to warranty and make sure it is bumper to bumper and it covers everything mechanical, everything electric, the computers, everything. Because if you don’t, you’ll get nickel and dimed to death. There are other remedies available to you under various breach of contract, situations; but the Lemon Law is just what I stated.
Also, this is not applicable to private sales whatsoever. In other words, if I buy a vehicle from a private seller there’s no implied warranty of merchantability. In other words, there’s no implied warranty that you can drive the thing down the road safely. It is what it is. It’s an as is sale and that’s it.
So, remember those things. If you’ve got a defective vehicle, new or used, and you need some help on it, give me a holler; but remember those time limitations. Okay? Thank you.