Purchasing a car can be an exciting experience for most people. But it can also be a stressful thing if you buy a lemon car. A ‘lemon car’ is a phrase used to describe a leased or new vehicle with serious defects that are more likely to impair its safety, use or market value. So you should know the condition of vehicle that you are about to purchase. Always ask for a vehicle history report before making your offer. But still if you fall a victim of a lemon car, there is still hope of getting your refund or vehicle replacement if you invoke Virginia’s lemon law also known as Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act.
What does Lemon Law in Virginia offer?
This law was enacted to protect consumers from faulty vehicles sold by unscrupulous vehicle dealers or manufacturers. It protects new vehicle users from unfair warranties. Actually, Virginia’s lemon law puts the blame on manufacturers for any defective vehicle they sell. This law also covers leased cars as well as the attorney’s fees if the case is decided in your favor. If you purchase a new vehicle and find it full of defect(s), you can qualify for compensation if you have all the documents during the first 18 years of ownership. You must take your vehicle to the manufacturer immediately when you realize these defects. The manufacturer is required to make a reasonable number of attempts to fix these defects. If the defects cannot be fixed after these attempts, you may be entitled to a refund of your money plus all applicable fees or to receive a new vehicle to replace the first one.
What Makes It a Lemon?
In order for your leased or new vehicle to qualify as a lemon under Virginia’s lemon law, you must have taken it several times to the manufacturer for repair. The defects must also be serious enough to compromise the vehicle’s safety, resale price and its overall performance. Your vehicle can also qualify as a lemon if it has stayed in the manufacturer’s repair shop for more than 30 business days and the defects are not repaired. The said defects must occur during the first 18 months from the time of purchase.
Resolution and settlement under Virginia’s lemon law
To resolve this repair issue, you must inform (in written) your vehicle manufacturer to have a final repair attempt. Your manufacturer will have at most 15 days to have a final attempt to fix the problem. If after 15 days or after a period of 30 days the problem is not fixed, your car will qualify as a lemon and your vehicle manufacturer will have to refund your money or replace the vehicle with a comparable one. Using the Virginia’s lemon law to successfully argue your case in a civil court, first you must provide the court with all records and receipts regarding your vehicle purchase price, repair history and communication with the manufacturer. If the manufacturer is not complying with the requirements, you can file your complaint at the Office of the Attorney General in Virginia using the hotline (804) 786-2071. You may also decide to hire a lemon law lawyer to present your case in a civil court.