Most people are excited when they purchase a new car and enthusiastic about driving and enjoying the novel experience on the road. However, sometimes things go wrong. Shortly after driving the car off the lot, the problems start. The vehicle routinely breaks down, and mechanics can’t seem to fix the issues.
Have you recently purchased a new car only to be almost immediately disappointed? Does the vehicle continuously break down with issues the mechanic can’t fix? Have you ever wondered if you might have a lemon on your hands? If this describes your experience, you are not out of options. The Commonwealth of Virginia has a lemon law on the books to protect consumers just like you.
What is Virginia’s Lemon Law?
The Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, or lemon law, protects consumers who have purchased cars that have serious or recurring problems. If your vehicle meets the conditions for the lemon law in Virginia, the car’s manufacturer owes you a full refund or a new replacement vehicle.
However, manufacturers aren’t always cooperative and refuse to hand over money or provide you with a replacement vehicle. If this happens to you, reach out to an experienced lemon law lawyer in northern Virginia to help you with a claim. Following the purchase of a new vehicle, the Virginia lemon law protects you for the next 18 months. You may have a claim if:
- The car underwent repairs for the same defect at least three times without the issue being fixed, or
- one or more attempts were made to fix a serious safety problem, or
- the vehicle was out of service for a total of 30 days or more.
What to Do If You Think You Have a Lemon
If you think your vehicle is a lemon, there are specific steps you should take to make sure you are protected. First, make sure that you take your car to the dealership for repairs. Going to a local mechanic or trying to make the repairs yourself could be more convenient in the short term, but it could hurt your claim under the lemon law.
Second, keep detailed records of all repairs and make sure you get and keep any receipts. The receipts will demonstrate that they meet the eligibility requirements for the lemon law. They will also help your attorney establish a timeline and prove that you deserve a full refund or a new replacement vehicle.
What to Do if the Dealership Can’t Fix your Car
If you meet the qualifications of the lemon law in Virginia, and the dealer hasn’t fixed the problems with your car, you must notify the manufacturer, ideally via mail in writing.
In your letter of notice to the dealership, you should be sure to include the following information:
- Year, make, model, and VIN for your vehicle
- The dates you took your car for repairs and the problems
- A copy of each repair order
- Request a buyback under the Virginia Lemon Law
Used Cars and the Lemon Law
Although the lemon law is primarily designed to protect those who purchase new vehicles, there is a chance your used car might also be covered under the lemon law if the last owner bought it as a new car within the 18-month timeframe.
If your used car meets the criteria for protection under the lemon law, it will likely qualify for the same protection as if you purchased it brand new. Many owners of used cars have made successful lemon law claims in Virginia.
Although many people have made successful lemon law claims for a used car, doing so is more challenging than with a brand new car. If you think your used vehicle meets the lemon law criteria in Virginia, be sure to contact a lemon law attorney.
Contact PJI Law Today
If you think that you have a valid claim under Virginia’s lemon law, you don’t have to continue driving a frustrating and unsafe vehicle. One of our attorneys can help you with every step of your lemon law claim. Don’t let the manufacturer and dealership get away with selling you a defective car. We can help you get your money back or a new replacement vehicle.
If you have already filed a lemon law claim, but the manufacturer is playing hardball, we can help here too. Unfortunately, manufacturers often wait until an experienced attorney gets involved before they decide to pay up. To request a consultation, call us at (703) 865-6100 or fill out our online form.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.