So you took out a loan and the only juice in your new set of wheels is of the lemon variety. Have no fear: If you know your state’s lemon laws—and the myths behind them—you might get your money back.
Lemon laws vary from state-to-state. In Texas, you can file a “lemon” claim right there at the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. In Kansas, the lemon law gives you your money back after four unsuccessful attempts to repair a single defect. While all states share board-based avenues of recourse for consumers stuck with a toxic car, that doesn’t mean you should take anything for granted.
Let’s set the record straight, first with some steps to avoid a new “lemon,” and then the common myths that could hold you back if you enter into a lemon law recourse.
The Kansas Attorney General’s Office has a good, common sense list of tips you should cover before signing any new car agreements.
- Read and understand the warranty before the sale/lease. Make sure you know exactly what is covered, and for how long.
- Before taking delivery of your new vehicle, inspect it. If any problems are noticed, refuse delivery until they're corrected.
- Read, understand and follow maintenance requirements in the owner's manual.
- Keep records of all car maintenance to prove, if necessary, the defect was not caused by your abuse or negligence.
- If problems develop, contact the dealer as soon as possible.
- Keep a record of the date and nature of all repairs made to your car. Be sure to obtain a copy of the service order from the dealer stating exactly what repairs were made to your vehicle.
- Keep a record of all contacts made to the dealer or manufacturer. Keep copies of all letters and records of all telephone calls. This may later help prove what was said and may help you avoid misunderstandings.