Reliability problems can plague new cars

When Philadelphia drivers head to the dealership to buy a new car, they often expect to receive the best reliability and quality available. In one Consumer Reports survey, car buyers emphasized that reliability was a primary driver of new car purchases. People often expect that when they buy a new car, they'll avoid problems associated with used cars, including maintenance costs and repair downtime. However, many new cars suffer from significant problems, especially newer models.

When automobile companies introduce a new model, they may not be aware of all of the issues that can crop up in mass production. Older model years often prove themselves to be far more reliable. This is not only the case with inexpensive cars; even luxury, high-end vehicles can have growing pains. Over 2,000 drivers participated in the survey, and many listed advantages to buying new cars. While 51 percent said that they wanted a strong warranty, 46 percent said they didn't want to lose time on repairs. Another 43 percent were concerned about breaking down in a used car. While some cars may have annoying but easily fixed or minor problems, others may have more serious safety defects.

Consumers are right to be concerned about having a warranty for their purchase. Consumer protection laws provide stronger protections to people who buy cars with a warranty in place. For example, the Pennsylvania lemon law protects buyers who purchase defective vehicles under warranty from a dealer. If a car buyer is able to have the defect repaired by the dealer, the law likely would not apply.

In too many cases, however, people find themselves repeatedly returning to the dealer or even contacting the manufacturer directly over car problems. A lemon law attorney may help consumers with a defective vehicle to protect their rights and potentially receive a refund or a replacement car.

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