It’s every driver’s worst nightmare. You finally replaced your aging vehicle with something much nicer, a new car. Yet, three months later, you end up having to bring it in for a transmission problem. And even though the dealer fixes it, a couple weeks later, you are having transmission problems again.
What are you supposed to do now?
Most states, including Pennsylvania, have an Automobile Lemon Law, protecting consumers from buying or leasing unsafe or defective cars. In Pennsylvania, vehicles covered under the Automobile Lemon Law must be used for personal, family or household purposes, not commercial use.
Lemon Law provisions
Pennsylvania’s Automobile Lemon Law covers vehicles for the first 12 months or 12,000 miles of ownership. The vehicle’s repair issues must substantially impair its value, use or safety. So, every time, a car owner brings in a new vehicle in for a repair, they should keep a copy of that repair invoice. Also, dealers are supposed to notify your vehicle’s manufacturer if you end up bringing it in for the same problem.
If you are facing a third attempt to fix the same mechanical issue, the Lemon Law allows you to demand for a replacement or a refund. Also, if your vehicle ends up at the dealer for a total of 30 days for repairs during the first 12 months or 12,000 miles, you may demand a refund or replacement.
The amount a dealer can offset a refund for your use of the car is no more than 10% of the purchase price or $.10 for each mile driven before the first repair is needed.
The Lemon Law doesn’t protect your vehicle if you modify it or alter it and those modifications result in needed vehicle repair. Or if you abuse or neglect a vehicle, the Lemon Law no longer applies.
Consumers can bring civil action against a dealer or manufacturer and can recover attorney’s fees and court costs in cases of severe automobile defects or mechanical issues. If you feel you might qualify for Lemon Law reimbursement or you want to file a civil suit against an auto dealer or manufacturer, contact an experienced consumer lawyer. You may need advice on how to best present your case.