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Fine print can hinder consumers’ use of lemon law

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2018 | Consumer Protection

Pennsylvania car buyers may worry about their worst nightmare – bringing home a “lemon”, a model plagued with a number of defects from the time of purchase. It can be important to review the purchase agreement, as it may affect their rights as consumers.

One Ohio couple decided to buy a recreational vehicle in 2015, but since the purchase, they have dealt with an array of problems. The RV’s engine has suddenly lost power, and there have been ongoing issues with water leaks and defrosting inside and outside of the RV. Despite buying the RV for road trips, they and their family members have been left stranded due to ongoing mechanical problems.

After an accident in which the owners hit a deer on the road, they took the RV in for maintenance. The mechanic told them that the welds were broken under the motohome. Cracked or broken welds present a major safety hazard and in this case reflected a manufacturing defect rather than accidental damage.

When the couple brought the problem to the dealer’s attention, the dealer said that the owners would have to take it up with the vehicle’s manufacturer. Under Ohio law, the vehicle is classified as a “lemon”. however, when buying the vehicle, the owners unknowingly signed a document referring to terms in the back of the owners’ manual, restricting claims to Indiana, one state where RVs cannot be classified as lemons. The owners are pursuing the issue in federal court.

Lemon law issues include hidden damage and other serious issues that plague a motor vehicle from the time of purchase. People who have bought a defective vehicle from a car dealer might want to have the help of an attorney in seeking appropriate compensation.

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