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When does a new Pennsylvania vehicle officially become a lemon?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2022 | Consumer Protection

There are many reasons that people choose to purchase brand-new vehicles rather than used ones. Even when you have a mechanic you trust inspect a pre-owned vehicle, you never truly know how the previous owner may have abused the vehicle or failed to properly maintain it.

There could be latent issues with the vehicle that only cause issues a year or two after you purchase it. Buying a new vehicle eliminates the possibility of a major system failing shortly after the process of a vehicle in most cases, but some buyers are in for a shock.

Although it is rare, those who purchase a new vehicle in Pennsylvania may find themselves saddled with a lemon. Pennsylvania lemon law allows you to request a full refund of the purchase price or a replacement vehicle if your brand-new vehicle turns out to be a lemon. What constitutes a lemon under Pennsylvania law?

A vehicle that requires too many repairs

If some kind of significant issue arises in the first 12 months that you own the vehicle, it may turn out to be a lemon. When you present the vehicle to the dealership and explain the issue that has made it unsafe or undrivable, they will typically have to repair it in accordance with their warranty.

Most times, repairs will correct an issue that affected the vehicle. In a small percentage of cases, dealerships will not be able to fix the vehicle even after making three repair attempts. At that point, the owner can treat it as a lemon and request a replacement or a refund.

A vehicle someone can’t drive due to constant work

Even a single repair attempt might eventually lead to the vehicle fitting the state definition of a lemon if it takes too long. Under Pennsylvania law, if someone cannot use their vehicle for a total of 30 days over the course of a single year or the first 12,000 miles because of service work because of a significant or recurrent issue, then the vehicle may be a lemon.

As soon as you start to worry about the condition of your new vehicle, you may need to document your communication with the dealership and their attempts to correct the problem. That way, you will be able to take appropriate action if they cannot repair the vehicle. Knowing you’re rights and potentially bringing in professional help will make it easier for you to handle a lemon law claim after a disappointing new vehicle purchase.

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