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State Lemon Law Similarities
Free Lemon Law Tips by Doug Smith

State Lemon Laws exist to protect the consumer in the event that an automobile or motorcycle purchase is defective. While state lemon laws vary based on jurisdiction, they do share many things in common.

First, state lemon law outlines the definition of a lemon. It defines the circumstances under which a vehicle can be designated as a lemon. For example, state lemon laws dictate the number of repair attempts before the vehicle can be designated as a lemon.

Usually a car is declared to be a lemon if there have been many unsuccessful repair attempts for a defect, and the defect affects an automobile's value, safety, or use. State lemon laws also require that the manufacturer, and not the dealer, must remedy the defect.

Second, state lemon laws outline a period of warranty rights, usually between one or two years and 12,000 to 24,000 miles. In other words, the defect has to occur during this time. However, some state lemon laws will allow a period to file as well. You can file a lemon law case up to four years after the defect is discovered.

Third, a state lemon law will offer guidelines regarding the number of repair attempts, and if these attempts entitle the owner to a replacement or refund. These guidelines include:

1. Serious safety defects that affect steering or brakes will give a manufacturer one repair attempt.

2. Safety defects not classified as "serious" allow the manufacturer two repair attempts.

3. Most other defects will give the manufacturer 3 or 4 repair attempts on the same defect.

4. If a car visits the dealer for 30 calendar days within a year, state lemon laws take effect.

If the vehicle meets one or all of these guidelines, state lemon laws give vehicle owners the right to have the vehicle replaced or bought back by the manufacturer.

Most state lemon laws allow manufacturers to have the owner's use of the vehicle reduced from the refund. For example, one state lemon law multiplies the miles at the time of the refund and the purchase price. Divide this figure by 100,000 to calculate the refund price.

There is some controversy as to whether the mileage should end at the time of refund or the time of first repair. Consult your area's state lemon law for clarification.

About half of state lemon laws will allow recovery of attorney fees related to state lemon law litigation pursuit. States that do allow for attorney fee recovery offer a higher probability of success.

This article is ©2006 by Doug Smith. Bought a lemon car? Browse many free and informative articles and tips on car lemon laws, including definition of a lemon car, lemon law attorneys, lemon law arbitration, state lemon laws and more. Visit http://LemonLaws.FindCarsForHire.com. This article may be freely reprinted as long as this copyright notice remains intact, the article is unchanged, and all hyperlinks remain active and clickable.

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* Lemon Law Terms:
  • Automobile manufacturers - include General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford Motor Company, Hyundai Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen Group, and more.
  • Jury - a sworn body of persons convened to render an impartial verdict (finding of fact) on a legal question officially submitted to them, or to set a penalty or judgment in a jury trial.
  • Judge or justice - an official who presides over a court.
  • Lemon definition based on repair attempts - a car is usually labeled a lemon if the same problem occurs 3 times in a row over a short period, and previous attempts at repair have been unsuccessful.
  • Manufacturing - the transformation of raw materials into finished goods for sale by means of tools and/or processing steps.

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