Extending Protections To Consumers Through A Motor Vehicle Lemon Law
During the 1980s, many states in the United States and some other jurisdictions in different countries around the globe began enacting lemon law statutes. The creation of lemon law statutes arose out of problems that consumers were having in regard to the purchase of new motor vehicles that turned out to be significantly defective.
Prior to the enactment of a lemon law in a given jurisdiction, a consumer's only real recourse if he or she purchased a car that did not mechanically live up to expectations was to obtain whatever relief that he or she could seek out of the provisions of a warranty. In other words, on a very real level, before the advent of the lemon law, a consumer truly did purchase a new automobile or other new motor vehicle in an as is condition. If there were problems with a new motor vehicle in the absence of a lemon law, the consumer was stuck -- plain and simple. There was no legal mechanism through which a consumer could return a chronically defective motor vehicle to a dealer without the specific statutory provisions that were found within a lemon law.
In time, many governmental leaders and consumer advocates began to realize the inherent unfairness in a consumer being stuck with a deeply flawed motor vehicle through no fault of that consumer. These leaders and advocates realized that the time had come to provide consumers some recourse if they ended up stuck with a truly tainted motor vehicle. As a result of this recognition that consumers deserved greater protection against defective new motor vehicles, the lemon law was born.
You do need to keep in mind at the outset that the typical lemon law only extends protection to a person who has made the purchase of a new motor vehicle. Used or pre-owned vehicles are not included within the prevue of the standard or typical lemon law. In addition, the typical lemon law only extends its protections to consumers who purchase a new car or other motor vehicle for personal use. A standard lemon law does not extend protection to new vehicles that are used for business, commercial or fleet purposes.
In general terms, the manner in which a lemon law operates and works is fairly simple. If you do purchase a new motor vehicle, and end up facing the same mechanical defect or disruption over a specified period of time (as set forth within the lemon law itself), you have the right to return that motor vehicle to the dealer that sold you the car in the first instance. The dealer has a legal obligation to refund the money that you paid for the defective motor vehicle in the first instance. In other words, the typical consumer -- a person like you -- does not end up with a defective motor vehicle that requires ongoing repair work. You are able to get the money you invested in the car back and are freed from the burden of owning a defective vehicle.
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