Buying a new car can be an exciting experience, but your new car may also turn out to be a headache to you. Think of buying a car and later you realize that it has defects that can’t be repaired. The best term to describe such a car is ‘lemon.’ A lemon is therefore a new car with recurring defects that impacts its safety, resale value or operation. If you fall a victim of a lemon, Louisiana Lemon law has put forward some steps to take to get compensation. Your vehicle dealer or manufacturer will be authorized to refund your money or replace the vehicle with a comparable one. This article has some basic overview about this lemon law in Louisiana and steps to take if you purchased a lemon.
Louisiana Lemon Law guidelines
Louisiana lemon law was enacted to protect consumers against the burden of lemon vehicles. Vehicles that are covered under this law include:
- Passenger motor vehicles sold or registered in Louisiana
- Commercial motor vehicles sold in Louisiana
- ATVs or Personal watercrafts under the manufacturer’s warranty or after August 15, 1999
- Motor homes under the manufacturer’s warranty or after August 15, 1999
- Drive train sold in Louisiana.
Vehicles not covered under the Louisiana Lemon Law include:
- Demonstrator vehicles
- Newly-leased vehicles
- Mobile homes
In Louisiana, vehicle dealers or manufacturers are required to fix the defects if they are reported within the warranty period. After reasonable number of unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem, the manufacturer is obliged to refund your money or replace the vehicle with a comparable one. Louisiana Lemon Law identifies reasonable attempts as either:
- Up to 4 unsuccessful attempts for most defects
- An attempt for faults that could cause death or serious injury
- The vehicle has been inoperable for 45 days while under the manufacturer garage.
After taking your vehicle for repair, you may choose to rent another vehicle for use. In this event, the manufacturer is obliged to reimburse up to $20 daily to you, as long as the vehicle is still covered under the original warranty.
What to Do if You Have a Lemon
If you are truly sure that you have a lemon under Louisiana Lemon Law, you must first work with your manufacturer to resolve the issue through their informal dispute resolution/arbitration program before filing a lawsuit in the court of law. Send your manufacturer a final notification letter through a registered mail, asking them to have a final repair attempt. If the defects are not repaired after a final attempt, you’ll submit a replacement or a refund request to the manufacturer. If the manufacturer disagrees to resolve the issue in that manner, you’ll need to report the complaint to the Better Business Bureau. If your vehicle manufacturer refuses to resolve the issue at this stage, you will then hire a lemon law attorney to file in court.
Protect yourself from faulty vehicles
Before you purchase a new vehicle, first get a vehicle history report for that vehicle. Get a registered mechanic inspect that vehicle for any defects. Otherwise the office of the Attorney General has some useful information regarding vehicle legislations.