Getting a new vehicle typically requires a significant financial investment. Whether you purchase your car brand new or gently used, you expect it to keep you safe and run for a good many years. If you ever get a car that proves to be a “lemon,” there are legal protections to help you get the compensation you need. These include both federal laws as well as laws specific to Kentucky.
If you believe you have a valid lemon law case, one of your first steps should be to contact a qualified lemon law attorney. In addition, consider a few of the most common inquiries related to lemon laws.
10 Common Questions About Lemon Laws
1) What are lemon laws?
Essentially, lemon laws are consumer protections. They are intended to provide a legal safety net for consumers who purchase defective goods. Automotive lemon laws, in particular, protect consumers who either buy or lease a vehicle that turns out to be defective. These laws mandate that the manufacturer make reasonable efforts to repair the vehicle, within a reasonable span of time. If they cannot do so, lemon laws require the manufacturer to either refund the consumer’s money or provide them with a comparable replacement vehicle.
2) What qualifies my car as a lemon?
In Kentucky, a car is considered a lemon if there is a “nonconformity” that makes it unsafe, inoperable, or significantly devalued; and, if the manufacturer makes four or more efforts to repair the issue, but to no avail.
Additionally, your car may qualify as a lemon if it is in the shop for 30 or more calendar days, and the underlying issue cannot be resolved.
3) What is the timeline for making a lemon law claim?
Generally speaking, to make a lemon law claim, the problem you encounter with the vehicle must become evident during the first year of you owning the vehicle, or within the first 12,000 miles (whichever comes first).
4) If my vehicle qualifies as a lemon, then what exactly am I entitled to?
The rule of thumb here is that, if your car is determined to be a lemon, you are entitled to a full refund or a replacement of comparable value. Additionally, the manufacturer must reimburse you for any legal expenses or fees you incur in processing your claim, including the fees charged by your lemon law attorney.
5) How can I know if my car qualifies under lemon laws?
You can use several tools to assess your vehicle and determine whether or not it qualifies under federal and state lemon laws. To begin with, check out the assessment we offer on our website, which can help you evaluate your car’s lemon law eligibility. Additionally, you can reach out to a lemon law attorney from our firm to receive a free review. We will assess your vehicle’s repair history and let you know whether it qualifies under federal or Kentucky lemon laws.
6) How much does it cost to hire a lemon law attorney?
It should not cost you anything to enlist the services of a lemon law attorney; there should be no retainer or upfront cost. A good lemon law attorney will provide a free assessment, and if you qualify for a lemon law case, then the automotive manufacturer will pay all of your legal expenses. Your lemon law attorney should never bill you.
7) How long does it take to resolve a lemon law case?
Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer to this question. The timeline can vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of your vehicle’s repair history.
With that said, some clients have their lemon law cases resolved in as little as 90 days. For other clients, it may take a few months.
8) Can my used car qualify under lemon laws?
One of the most common misconceptions about lemon laws is that they apply only to brand new vehicles. Actually, used cars can often qualify under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act as long as repairs are performed pursuant to the manufacturer’s warranty.
With any questions about whether your used car qualifies under lemon laws, the best approach is to reach out directly to your lemon law attorney.
9) Can my leased vehicle qualify under lemon laws?
Again, the important consideration here is whether the vehicle in question is still under warranty. If the answer is yes, then even a leased vehicle can qualify under lemon laws, meaning you could potentially be entitled to a replacement vehicle or compensation for attempted repairs.
10) How do I know which lemon law attorney I should hire?
When looking for a lemon law attorney, experience matters a great deal. Ideally, you will want to hire a firm with many years of experience assisting lemon law clients. Additionally, make sure you seek a local attorney well-versed in your state’s specific lemon laws. For example, if you live in Kentucky and have a defective vehicle, you may qualify under either federal or state-level consumer protections.
Hire a Lemon Law Attorney to Assist with Your Case
Nobody wants to go to the car dealership and end up with a “dud.” Thankfully, there are laws that protect your rights as a consumer. To ensure your rights are upheld, it is generally best to work with a lemon law attorney, who can get results much more expediently than if you handled the case on your own (and, at no cost to you).
Clagett & Barnett boasts more than 30 years of helping consumers in Kentucky. If you have any questions about lemon laws or your eligibility for compensation, reach out to our firm at any time. We would love to discuss the next steps with you.