In order to streamline the compensation process, as well as better serve consumers, many states instituted Lemon Laws which specifically addressed this issue.
In Michigan, the law is concerned with any problems that occur within the first year of ownership, or the duration of the warranty period, whichever is longer.
While all vehicles, used or new are going to break down from time to time, there are some cars that seem to have more than their fair share of problems – be they something major like transmission failures, or a series of small but crippling problems such as electrical issues.
In order for a vehicle to be considered a lemon, the state of Michigan has declared that a reasonable number of repair attempts must have been made in order to correct the specific problem or problems. If the problem persists after the 4th repair, for a new vehicle, then it falls under the definition of a lemon.
The criteria for new cars also includes vehicles who have been out of service for 30 or more days during the warranty period as a result of repairs.
If such a situation arises, then the manufacturer has 30 days to comply with the Lemon Law and adequately compensate the purchaser. The types of compensation that can offered to a plaintiff are numerous.
In extreme cases, the purchase price of the car could be refunded in its entirety or the car could even be replaced with a brand new vehicle. Other possible avenues include the transfer of secured interest onto a replacement vehicle, payment of any towing or rental fees associated with the downtime caused by the repairs and problems, or the continuation of repairs past the warranty period.
It might seem intimidating as a consumer to confront a dealership regarding this type of problem, particularly if the company has honestly worked hard at trying to fix the issues with the vehicle.
The reality is lemons can be brand new, direct from the factory, in which case it is not the fault of the dealership that the car is seemingly in such terrible condition. However, while the dealership may not be at fault for the construction defects in the car, they are still responsible for providing a product that functions at the level expected by the buyer.
The Michigan Lemon Law levels the playing field and allows an individual consumer to approach the a dealership with the knowledge that they will receive fair consideration of their problems under the law and not be ignored.