Whether it's a sports model or an SUV, you are making one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make, the first being the purchase of a house.
Feeling sure in your decision to buy a new or used car, the last thing you expect is that your new car will be flawed or have a defect of any kind.
This can happen, even though it is not often, you should know about it, just in case.
My New Car is Defective
What do you do when you buy a new car with a defect?
These are called lemon cars and there are federal and state laws to protect you, as a consumer, against this. These lemon laws protect your high ticket purchase and they make the car maker to repair the defect, replace the car or give you a refund.
How can you protect your self from buying one of these lemon cars?
Do the lemon laws apply to used cars too?
First do some research about the car make and model you are thinking about buying. Don't just rush into the purchase contract.
What kinds of faults should you look for?
The flaws in a new or used car can be obvious, if you know what to look for.
Do you see a rippling pattern on the side of the car? Rippling could indicate that the car has had an accident that caused the metal to warp. Always look at your potential purchase in good lighting, don't go to buy your new or used car at night when you will not be able to see such an obvious flaw.
Another vehicle flaw you will want to look for is a variation in the color of the car from one spot to the next. If your new car's paint color looks to be a different shade from one side to the other it could indicate that a body panel has been replaced.
This is known as a "cut and shut" vehicle. What that means is the car you are thinking about buying is actually parts of two vehicles that have been welded together.
Sometimes the flaws in a vehicle are not as obvious as rippling or color variations. You can check out the history of a used vehicle before you buy it. A service like CARFAX will let you know if the vehicle has been in any accidents. If it has been you probably should not buy it.
Do Research on Your New Car
There are a couple of old adages that fit this scenario. "Buy in haste, Repent at Leisure" is one that comes to mind.
Never, NEVER, rush into a car purchase decision. If your buying a used car, have a professional mechanic give it a once over to make sure it is in good running condition, and it has no exterior flaws that could show the car has been in an accident. It will cost a little now and perhaps save you large repair costs later.
The words "Let The Buyer Beware" are a warning for us all. If the deal looks to good...There could be a problem. You, unfortunately, cannot take someone's word that the car your buying has never been in an accident, or perhaps even be a flood damaged car that has been repaired. Buying in good faith is not a practical option for consumers today.
Get The Vehicle Inspected
When you make the most expensive purchase you make in your life, buying a home most likely, your mortgage company insists on many home inspections to make sure there are no problems with the new home.
When your buying a new car you should take just as many precautions. If the person, or dealership, your buying the vehicle from tries to change your mind about this process, you should get the hint, and walk away from the deal.
Since, however infrequently, people are sold new and used vehicles with major problems there are specific laws to help out frustrated consumers. These laws exist to protect our rights as consumers. These are called Lemon Laws.
It is important to know your new vehicle is in top condition. You don't want to be riding around in an unsafe car. That is like climbing into a death trap!
Lemon Laws and State Statutes
Each state has it's own set of lemon laws and state statutes, and each state can interpret these lemon laws in a different way. The law usually insists that the car sales dealership buys the car back from you, makes the needed repairs or replaces the lemon car for you.
Stay Away From Car Auctions
When car dealers cannot sell cars, guess where they send them.
To car auctions.
If you have ever been to a car auction you know the process. Go in the morning, give the cars a look, and then the bidding starts and boom...the sale is completed.
There is no time to get the car checked out thoroughly by a mechanic. Before you know it the bidding is over, you have paid for the car and the pink slip is in your hand.
These are not the best places to buy a car! These could even be faulty car models that have been returned to a car seller because of the lemon laws. Do not trust anyone who doesn't want you to have the car checked out.
Get A Lemon Law Attorney
If you have already made the purchase of a car and you are having problems with it that cannot be fixed in a reasonable amount of time, or in several different visits to the repair shop for the same problem...you may be time to get a lemon law attorney.
A lemon law attorney is experienced with the lemon laws of your state and will know what action to take to get your car fixed, replaced or refunded. He will understand the specific state statutes that you need to deal with and know how to go about getting you justice.
Look for a lawyer with a good track record in winning lemon law cases and one with a lot of experience. With his help, and the state lemon laws to protect you, you will know if you have to go to court to get your car problem resolved.