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Do You Know The Lemon Laws For Your State?

Updated on June 19, 2013

Why would you know the lemon laws in your state? Unless you have had an ongoing problem with your car, you would never even give it a second thought, RIGHT? In all the years I have been working on cars, I have never even had a customer of mine file a claim against me, but my friend Joe is dealing with it right now.

Not Joe the Plumber!

My buddy Joe lives California, (not Joe the plumber) and unfortunately he's having a problem with his Honda Accord engine consuming too much oil. Of course, he called me to give him some advice, but I can only advise him about his car, I don't know anything about Consumer law, or the lemon laws in California, after all, I live in New Hampshire, and I don't even know anything about New Hampshire lemon laws, until now.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, protects citizens in all states whereas each state may have its own statutes to protect buyers of defective products and vehicles.

Source: Consumer law QA website

Honda Engine Oil Consumption Problem

He told me the dealer was giving him the run a round, his vehicle was using one quart of oil per 1000 miles. My first thought was if he waits to change his oil every 5000 miles like the manufacturer recommends, he'll run out of oil and seize the engine. I told Joe he needs to bring his vehicle to the Honda dealership so they can diagnose the problem. The dealership needs to determine if the block needs replacing because it's porous, or check the engine for external leaks.

He stated to me had brought the vehicle back to the dealership 4 times, each visit was the same, they would keep the car for weeks at a time, and return it to him saying "We did a oil consumption test and at this point in time, your vehicle's within specs" I told Joe he needed to possibly get a California lemon law attorney. Then I did a little research online, I was curious about what the lemon laws were in California compared to New Hampshire, and came across this website

Do you know your Lemon Laws?
Do you know your Lemon Laws? | Source

Researching State Lemon Laws

I found this website to be very informative, and it was obvious a lot of other people had found the site very useful as well, it had over 8.4k likes on facebook, I wish I had that many like on HubPages, lol. I had no idea that the lemon law covered more than just cars and trucks; it also covers ATV's, motor homes, motorcycles, and even used cars in some states. The Consumer law website also provides a question and answers page, which I thought was cool, so if you're having an issue with a vehicle you just purchased, and you have a quick question about your legal rights, I'm sure you can find the answer there.

Not All Dealers Are Created Equal

If you're having an issue or problem with a dealership about a product you recently purchased, like a car, truck, or motorcycle, keep this in mind. If you end up hiring a lawyer to help with the battle, you will most likely be dealing with the manufacturer, not the dealership. So, if you're having a problem with the dealership, try a different dealership first, or call the manufacturer and ask what they can do to stop this from going to court. You may be surprised they send you to a different dealership that will actually go out of their way to help you, not all dealerships are created equal.

Have you ever bought a lemon?

Have you ever bought a vehicle that had to go to arbitration?

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What Happened to Joe?

So, what happened to Joe? I advised him to take a look the consumer law website before he perused the lemon law, and used the question and answers page for a professional opinion. Joe took my advice; they advised him to contact the manufacturer first and try to settle the issues through arbitration. He called the manufacturer (Honda) and they ended up sending him to another dealership close to his home. The resolution was having the engine replaced because the block was porous, and it was using too much oil between oil changes, just as I thought. Using the consumer law questions and answers page saved Joe a lot of mental anguish, time in and out of court, and not to mention, loss of time at work, which might not have been so bad for Joe, but the boss probably wouldn't have like it.

Why Do We Have A Lemon Law?

The lemon law was put in place to protect the consumer against vehicles with manufacturer's defects that cannot be fixed, or that have had an ongoing history of repairs without resolution. The statue is called The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; it's a law stating manufacturers need to have an expressed (written) or implied (not written) warranty on their products, it's a guarantee to the consumer, that if there are any problems with the purchased product that cannot be fixed within the original warranty period, the manufacturer will either replace or repurchase the product.

Lemon Law Discrepancy State to State

Keep in mind that the lemon laws varies from state to state, so do your homework on consumer law first before jumping to conclusions. I found that the lemon laws in California are slightly different then the New Hampshire lemon laws. One discrepancy is, California law states; the owner had to have taken the vehicle in for repair for a total of four or more attempts for the same problem, whereas New Hampshire lemon law says three or more attempts. There was also a time factor as well, something like a total of thirty day where the vehicle was not usable. It's only a minor difference, so don't guess, do your homework and ask questions.

Got A Lemon Law Story?

If you have any questions or if you have ever used the lemon law, tell your story and leave them in the comment box below, I would love to hear the stories, and the questions will be answered to the bests of my ability. Please leave feedback, thumbs up or down, interesting, funny blah, blah, blah... If you found the article worth sharing, hit the Twitter or Facebook like button at the top of the page, I would really appreciate it.


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