Is Your Used Car a Lemon? Here's What You Can Do About It.
First, the law may apply to you if you purchased a used car, van, or truck from a manufacturer or dealer for at least $700 and your vehicle had less than 125,000 miles on the odometer at the time of sale. Your vehicle cannot be used primarily for business purposes and cannot be an auto home or built primarily for off-road use. The law applies differently if you purchase your car from a dealer or a private party and the law defines a "dealer" as one who has sold more than three vehicles in the past twelve months.
When you purchase your used vehicle from the dealer, the dealer must provide you with a written warranty that covers the full cost of parts and labor necessary to repair any defect that impairs your vehicle's safety or use. The length of your warranty depends on the mileage on your vehicle at the time of the sale. If your vehicle has:
Fewer than 40,000 miles, the warranty will be for 90 days or 3,750, whichever comes first;
40,000 to 79,999 miles, the warranty will be for 60 days or 2,500 miles, whichever comes first;
80,000 to 124,999 miles, the warranty will be for 30 days or 1,250 miles, whichever comes first;
125,000 miles or over, you will have an implied warranty only.
If your dealer does not give you a warranty or gives you one that does not comply with the law, your warranty may not begin to expire until you get a complete copy of the warranty from the dealer.
The warranty is relevant because defect to your car must occur during the warranty period and you must return your vehicle to the dealer for repair within five days of the end of your warranty period. Additionally, the law only covers certain defects in your vehicle and does not include defects such as those that affect appearance only or those that you caused, as well as other exceptions.
If you're reading this, what may be most important to you is what you may be entitled to under the law. You may be entitled to a refund if your dealer fails to repair the same defect in your vehicle after three repair attempts and the defect continues or recurs during the warranty period. Another way you may be entitled to a refund is if for more than ten days your vehicle is out of service either because of repair or because of an invalid refusal by the dealer to make repairs. However, this calculation varies a bit if your dealer needs to order parts to make a repair. The dealer may also repurchase your vehicle instead of making the repairs. If your dealer does offer, in writing, to