Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Re: Does anybody know about Lemon law?
Most state laws are for the first 3 years/36,000 miles on new cars that if they attempt to fix the problem 3 times in a row and after the 3rd time it still fails to fix the issue the dealership/car company must buy it back at the depreciated price.
IE if the car is worth 26k now instead of 35k when it was bought new, the dealership will buy it back at 26k (afterall, you get a year or two or three's use out of it first). The depreciated value is basically the insurance value, IE what the car would actually sell from a dealership for, not a trade in value.
Most state's also have used car lemon laws which vary widely, but most cover at least 90 days/3,000 miles from purchase so long as the car has less then a certain amount of milage or age (some states go out to 180 days/6,000 miles). Generally they have to be less then I think 7yrs old and less then 60k miles to be covered. Some granny it out, so if the car has say 78,000 miles on it the lemon law coverage might only be 30 days or 1,000 miles. If an issue crops up within that time the dealership has 3 tries to fix it, just like a new car. Also a lot of states for both used and new cars in the lemon law state that if the vehicle is off the road and under repair (IE the dealership has it) for more then around 20 days TOTAL then it is considered a lemon. It doesn't have to be for the same issue for some states.
So you could take it in for a bad transmision and they have it for 8 days, then a faulty dome light for a day, 5 days for a bad clutch master cylinder and finally 6 days for a steering problem and you're up to the 20 days total and it can be considered a lemon.