Russ Thompson Managing Partner Thompson Consumer Law Group
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Lemon Laws and Auto Sales Rights
Lemon Laws and Auto Sales Rights
When an individual purchases a vehicle, certain consumer protection laws and provisions prevent manufacturers, dealers, and lenders from taking advantage of the buyer. These consumer protections include federal and state lemon laws and other federal and state auto sales laws. Your lemon law rights are protected by both the federal Magnuson Moss Federal Warranty Act and the lemon law in the state where you purchased your vehicle. You have auto sales rights we well.
“Lemon Laws” offer consumer protection to buyers of defective cars, trucks, mini vans, SUV’s, RV’s, boats, and other consumer products. Under federal and state lemon laws, manufacturers are required to repair, replace, or refund the cost of a vehicle that continuously fails to meet minimum standards of quality. Federal lemon laws protect consumers in all states, and your State’s lemon laws can provide extra protection.
Each state has a lemon law that applies to defective vehicles and products purchased therein. The federal lemon law, also known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, gives consumers another option for “coverage” if your State’s lemon law does not offer enough protection to provide for a claim. Under either of these laws you could be entitled to a new car, cash settlement, or refund of all or part of your purchase price. Our team of experienced lemon law lawyers will review your information and records, and contact you quickly for a free consultation.
To receive a cash settlement, partial or total refund, or a new vehicle, you must have three to four documented repair attempts pursuant to a warranty of some kind, or about thirty days in the shop being repaired (again, pursuant to a warranty). Used vehicles purchased “Certified Used” could also be covered as well.
Auto Sales Rights
Vehicle sales, products, and services purchases are areas in which merchants most often attempt to fleece consumers. If you purchased a used vehicle “as-is” you might not be protected by the lemon law, but you may have rights if the dealer used fraudulent practices to entice or consummate the sale. And if you financed your vehicle, you have rights under the Truth in Lending Act. You may be entitled to a cash award or to unwind the deal if your rights were violated.
Fraudulent vehicle sales often involve portraying the vehicle as newer than it really is. The dealership might alter the odometer or mechanical features as a way to misrepresent the age and condition of the vehicle. Other fraudulent practices include omissions about a vehicle’s past. Perhaps the salesperson neglects to disclose that the vehicle was in an accident or served as a rental car in the past. Additional consumer complaints regarding vehicle include:
- You were charged illegal or undisclosed costs such as document fees, filing fees, processing fees, or other unreasonable upcharges;
- The dealership promised to arrange financing but did not do it at the time you drove away with the car;
- The vehicle was previously bought back under the “lemon law” and the dealer did not disclose this to you;
- You were charged an excessively high interest rate; or,
- Your warranty rights were misrepresented.
Anytime you buy a vehicle, or think you have a lemon:
Vehicle purchases, leases, and repairs are ripe for lemon law violations and other salesmen wrongdoings. Anytime you buy or lease a vehicle, or have too many repairs under warranty, we want to evaluate your Lemon Law and Auto Sales Rights. To do so, we need to review the following information (don’t worry about what you don’t have, just send what you do):
- Your deal file, including the purchase agreement or buyers order, window sticker, and any printouts showing the original advertised price of your vehicle;
- Your retail instalment sales contract (“RISC”)/loan agreement;
- Your repair orders/warranty history; and,
- Any other documents in your possession related to the purchase; and,
- Any other documents you feel may be relevant to, or support your claim.