Auto Service World
News   May 15, 2023   by Auto Service World Staff

What to Do After Buying a Lemon Car

Purchasing a vehicle represents one of the largest financial commitments an individual can make. Naturally, no one desires to be stuck with a malfunctioning vehicle. Fortunately, consumer protection laws exist to shield buyers from such disappointing purchases. Should your new car be more troublesome than anticipated, measures are in place to transform that bitter experience into a favorable one.

How to Identify a Lemon Car

A car known as a lemon law vehicle is one that reportedly has a malfunction that a franchised dealer failed to repair after three or more tries. Should this vehicle remain under warranty, you can lodge a claim with the manufacturer for a repurchase. Subsequently, it will undergo repairs and be resold, accompanied by a limited warranty covering the exchanged components. Vehicles dubbed as lemons are not advisable for those without substantial experience.

What Should You Do After Purchasing a Lemon Car?

Should you encounter issues with your new vehicle and the manufacturer fails to address them within the designated time frame, it’s important to note that the specified duration is outlined in the Lemon Law California. Simply adhere to the prescribed procedures to recover your funds. While certain states offer policies safeguarding consumers who inadvertently purchase a used lemon car, this topic requires a separate conversation.

Maintain the Paperwork

Purchasing a car that turns out to be a lemon is simply unfortunate. Should you find yourself with such a vehicle, certain documents can assist in remedying the situation. To address this issue, presenting your car’s service records is essential. These records can facilitate a refund from either the manufacturer or dealer, as they are proof of the car’s lemon status and defects.

Remaining copies of any communications with the dealer or automaker is wise. Equally critical are the repair receipts; maintaining these records is indispensable. Remember the necessity of having repairs done at your dealership. Neglecting to do so could result in the loss of your warranty.

Submit Your Claim

Discovering that your vehicle is a lemon necessitates compliance with state legislation. This involves the submission of an official letter and evidence of repairs to the vehicle manufacturer.

Direct confrontation with the company isn’t initially required. Most manufacturers provide an arbitration program for dispute resolution. Should negotiation be proposed, engage with their representatives. Opting for legal action is complex and should be a last resort due to the extensive duration, financial cost, and energy expenditure.

Opting for litigation doesn’t guarantee a favorable outcome,as manufacturers typically have seasoned legal representation. Such legal battles can extend over four to five years to resolve. For the average person, sustaining such a prolonged legal fight, with its associated costs and efforts, is unfeasible.


In case you, as a consumer, encounter any of the mentioned issues, your first step should be to reach out to the dealer or individual who sold you the vehicle, to inquire whether they are open to accepting a return and refunding your purchase. Should the problem stem from a manufacturer’s defect, write to the manufacturer to determine if they are willing to address the issue or provide compensation for repairs at a service shop. If these efforts prove unsuccessful in resolving the problem, you can seek assistance through the state by filing for lemon law arbitration.