Lemon Law Rules
o Lemon laws were created to give consumers protection against faulty warranties and products that do not meet accepted standards of performance and quality. In some instances, lemon laws offer a more extensive guarantee than the product's warranty. Every state has its own set of rules regarding how lemon laws are enforced and which products are covered. The federal lemon laws are uniform and cover all citizens, regardless of the state in which you live.
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
o The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is the federal lemon law that protects consumers who have purchased products worth more than $25 that come with a written manufacturer's warranty. This law also puts in place the rule that manufacturers cannot create unfair warranties that make it difficult for the consumer to bring litigation against the company. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it easier for the average citizen to seek legal recourse against large companies by providing an award of lawyer fees.
The Uniform Commercial Code
o The Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC, is a federal lemon law that applies to citizens of all 50 states. The UCC covers all contracts that deal with the sale and purchase of products. Specifically, the Uniform Commercial Code states that the consumer has the right to have a faulty product or lemon replaced, or to receive a refund of the purchase price. This law, however, fails to define exactly what a "lemon" is. Therefore, it is left up to the consumer's state courts to decide whether the product in question fails to meet expected standards or if the warranty is unlawful.
State Vehicle Lemon Laws
o Typically, states have lemon rules in place that require the manufacturer to give the consumer a refund or offer a replacement of a new vehicle that has a major problem that cannot be fixed in at least four attempts, a safety defect in at least two attempts, or if the vehicle is broken down a total of 30 days out of its first 12,000 to 18,000 miles or 12 to 24 months.
Consumer Affairs advises that to ensure that you will be covered by your state's lemon laws, be sure to maintain good, accurate records of your product and the problems you're having, provide proper notice to the manufacturer or dealer, and use the correct arbitration programs. Also be certain to document all transactions.
Generally, you will qualify for compensation if the product is still under warranty, if the vehicle was certified by the manufacturer, or if there was an extended warranty purchased. You may also qualify if the product or vehicle had a history of known problems, if its odometer was rolled back, it was salvaged, wrecked, stolen, in a flood, or was previously a rental, police or taxi car.