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Is My Car A Lemon?

What does it take to have my vehicle classified as a Lemon? That is a common question that I get at my law firm from those who have purchased defective motor vehicles. As you may be aware, many states have enacted Lemon Laws to protect consumers who purchase new vehicles that turn out to be defective. While I can only speak with authority on the Pennsylvania Lemon Law, I have found that the Lemon Law statutes of all States typically set forth similar criteria to determine if a vehicle is a Lemon.

In Pennsylvania, a vehicle is a Lemon if it exhibits a defect or non-conformity that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle. Typically, the defects that meet this requirement involve the engine, electrical system, transmission, suspension, brakes or steering. Other types of defects, such as leaks, noises and heating or cooling issues may be considered substantial as well. These issues are looked at on a case by case basis, but if your vehicle has exhibited problems or defects the same or similar to those mentioned, you may be driving a lemon.

It is important to know that if your vehicle has suffered one of the above listed defects (other types of defects may suffice as well) the manufacturer must be given reasonable opportunities to repair or correct the problems. In Pennsylvania, the manufacturer must be given three opportunities to repair the defects, except under special circumstances. Those special circumstances arise where the problem incurred is likely to lead to severe personal injury or death as a result of the defect. At the time of the writing of this article, there have been no authoritative Pennsylvania cases dealing with such an issue. Another circumstance that removes the three repair attempts rule is if the vehicle is out of service for 30 or more days as a result of the defect. In that instance, only one repair attempt would be required.

If the manufacturer fails to repair or correct the defect within three opportunities, or one of the special circumstances applies, the vehicle may be considered a lemon.

Submitted by:

Greg Artim

Greg Artim is an Attorney based in Pittsburgh, PA. He handles Lemon Law and Breach of Warranty matters in all of Pennsylvania. For more answers to your PA Lemon Law questions, please visit his website at http://www.ihatethislemon.com/faqs.nxg




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