Buying a car is an exciting time. It’s also a big decision. What if you buy a lemon? The law protects consumers when this has happened, but it can be difficult to know whether or not your car is considered a lemon. Here are some of the most important things to look for.
What is a Lemon?
A lemon is a car that has serious problems from the time it is purchased. To be a lemon under the law, a car must meet three conditions:
- The problem must substantially impair the car’s use, safety, or value.
- The problem can’t be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
- The defect must have been present at the time of purchase, or arise within a certain period of time or number of miles.
Signs Your Car is a Lemon
There are some signs that you can look out for to determine if your car is a lemon. If any of these occur, it’s possible that your car may be a lemon and should be returned to the dealership. The number one sign that your vehicle might be a lemon is if the dealer keeps trying to fix your vehicle, but is never able to actually fix the problem. Some other potential signs include:
- The car won’t start or stalls out repeatedly.
- The engine makes excessive noise, and abnormal smoke or other visible exhaust issues occur.
- Braking issues are present, such as sudden brake failure.
- Your car has a burning smell, and the dealer can’t find the cause of the smell.
- The car intermittently fails to shift gears.
- The warning lights on your dash are on, but the dealer can’t find the reason for them.
- The driver’s seat is loose or creaks when you drive over bumps.
- There’s a major issue with your tires, such as an issue with the tires wearing down or blowing out unexpectedly.
- Your air conditioner system has a major defect, causing it to stop working or fail to cool adequately under normal conditions.
Tests for Determining a Lemon
In Texas, there are three tests to determine if you have a lemon:
- 30-day test: Your car has been inoperable for 30+ days in the first 24 months or 24,000 miles
- Safety hazard test: There is a life-threatening defect or malfunction that hasn’t been fixed after 2 repairs in 24 months or 24,000 miles
- Four times test: The defect hasn’t been repaired after four repairs in first 24 months or 24,000 miles
What to Do if Your Car’s a Lemon
If you’ve experienced problems with your car, take it to your dealer right away. The earlier you report the problem, the more options you may have for resolving it. When you first notice problems with your car, contact the manufacturer’s customer-service department. They may be able to help diagnose and remedy any issues before they become irreparable. If these steps do not work, you can contact a Dallas lemon law firm like The Law Office of Darin Siefkes for more guidance on how to file a claim.
If you’ve experienced major issues with your car that cannot be repaired, it may be a lemon. Contact a Dallas lemon lawyer to discuss your potential claim. We have the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve for any defective car you may have purchased in Texas. We make it easy for consumers to determine if their car qualifies as a lemon and take action if it does. Contact The Law Office of Darin Siefkes to schedule a consultation by calling 512-206-4242.