If you bought a car that has problems, you might think that you don't have any options to fix the issue. Dealers will tell you that they aren't responsible once the car leaves their lot, but is that really true? Here's what you need to know.
Are All Car Purchases Buyer Beware?
Buyers do need to be careful when buying a new or used car. You can expect more maintenance problems in certain makes and models, older cars, or cars without good maintenance histories. This is information you're supposed to know when you buy a car.
This doesn't mean a dealer can sell you a car with problems, though. There are several circumstances where you can hold a dealer responsible for selling you a bad car.
The Dealer Lied
Even though dealers often lie, it's not actually legal. If they lie about the condition a car is in, you may be entitled to return the car for a full refund.
For example, if a dealer fills a car's engine with sawdust to hide noises from mechanical problems and tells you the car is in perfect condition, that would be an illegal lie. You don't need to open up a car's engine before you buy it, especially after the dealer told you it was fine.
This is something that can be hard to prove on your own, so talk to a lawyer. To keep the dealer from covering things up, talk to the lawyer before you talk to the dealer.
A Car Has Repeated Maintenance Issues
Many people think that any bad car they buy from a dealer is a lemon. In many states, there's a more specific definition. A lemon is often when you have to bring a new or certified used car in for repairs more than a certain number of times within a certain amount of time after buying the car. The exact numbers depend on where you live.
If you have a car that's legally a lemon, you often have the right to return it for a full refund or swap it for a different car.
Dealer Not Honoring the Warranty
You might have a dealer who doesn't want to honor a warranty because it costs them money. The car might be a legal lemon or what people might commonly think of as a lemon.
Your state might also require a warranty that covers more or lasts longer than what you received. If you're denied warranty service, contact a lawyer to see if you're entitled to a free repair.
For more information, reach out to a local lemon lawyer.