You may have been searching for that car for a long time. It is the perfect color, body style, make, model and the price is right. But buying a car can cost you much more than you ever expected. Especially if the car you are buying does not work properly. It is called a lemon or a dud.
What is a lemon law?
Some states have something called a lemon law. It means that you can possibly get a refund if your lemon repeatedly fails to meet standards of performance and quality. Lemon laws are not just for vehicles but also apply to defective products such as appliances like your microwave or even machinery.
Virginia has a lemon law called the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act. This act states that if you have problems affecting your car’s safety, value and use and the car cannot be repaired in the first 18 months then your dealer is required to give you a full reimbursement to replace it.
How to qualify for Virginias’s Lemon Law
The act also states that in order for the vehicle to qualify for Virginia’s Lemon Law:
- You had it in the shop to be repaired for 30 days
- The maker tried several times to make repairs
- A security concern must occur
Tips to protect yourself when buying a used car
In order to know what you are getting when you buy a used car here are some tips to protect yourself.
- You can check out your vehicle’s history by getting reports from Carfax and Autocheck.
- Request reports from the federal government’s National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. These reports show vital information including any patented titles or former crashes.
- Take the car to a qualified and trusted mechanic. Have them put it up on a lift and do an entire check of that vehicle. Do this even if the dealership has already done its own check on the vehicle.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
If the vehicle is not considered a lemon there are other steps you can take. The federal lemon law is also called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The act details the rights of car buyers and the responsibility the car sellers have under the warranties.
The Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) Used Car Rule
The Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) Used Car Rule says that the car seller must display a Buyer’s Guide in every used car window. The guide says whether or not the car is sold with a “dealer warranty” or “as is.” The guide states that you as the buyer have the right to get the car inspected by a mechanic on or off the lot. It also gives you the right to obtain the vehicle history report and a list of any major defects that may occur in used cars.
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) states that a used-car that is sold includes an implied warranty that the car is safe and ready to be driven. However, some car dealers may deny the implied warranty if the vehicle is sold “as is.”
If you have had a lot of issues with your new Virginia car it may be best to contact an attorney who works with lemon laws.