Did you buy a new vehicle and have to take it to the dealer for repairs right away? This happens more often than you would expect, and it’s such a difficult issue for a consumer to deal with. No one sets out to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle and then have it break down. Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems and we can help you navigate through these rough waters using state and federal warranty laws. One of the most power laws is the PA Lemon Law. The PA Lemon Law is a state law that sets forth protections for consumers who buy new motor vehicles in Pennsylvania. The Lemon Law defines the remedies that are available to people who have purchased a defective vehicle from a manufacturer. We’ve handled hundreds of these cases over the years and would like to put our experience to work for you.
Under the PA Lemon Law, if a vehicle suffers a defect or non-conformity that substantially affects the use, value or safety of the vehicle, and the manufacturer cannot repair the defect or non-conformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer is entitled to a new replacement vehicle or a full refund of the purchase price or cash compensation. What does that mean? It means that if your new vehicle breaks down repeatedly or has some other serious repetitive issues then you may have an opportunity to pursue a claim under the law.
In Pennsylvania, three (3) repair attempts of the same defect are considered a reasonable number of attempts at repair. After that, the consumer can use the provisions of the PA Lemon Law to have the manufacturer replace the vehicle with a new one or give a full refund of the purchase price, or the consumer may receive cash compensation. Cash compensation is the most likely outcome in these matters as it allows the parties to settle their claims relatively quickly and hassle free. The law applies to your vehicle even if the manufacturer finally repairs the issues that were defective.
Under a cash compensation scenario, the manufacturer offers “cash” to the buyer in return for giving up his/her claim. Cash means just that, a check as compensation to the buyer for the defects that are apparent in the car. The buyer then keeps the car and can either use the money as a down payment on a new car somewhere else, or, can use the money for whatever they want and keep the vehicle to drive. This works best where the manufacturer has actually repaired the defects that were present in the automobile.
The Pennsylvania Lemon Law also provides that the manufacturer must pay the consumer’s reasonable attorney fees and costs for prosecution of the claim, in addition to all collateral charges suffered as a result of the defective vehicle. This means that the consumer can recover all monies spent on the defective vehicle, including all down payments, taxes, repair charges, interest and any other funds expended on the vehicle. (this only occurs when the vehicle is “bought back as a lemon”). As you can see, the PA Lemon Law is a very consumer friendly statute.
What About Used Cars?
Currently, the Pennsylvania Lemon Law only applies to new motor vehicles that are used primarily for family or household purposes. If you have a problem with a used motor vehicle, the PA Lemon Law will not provide any protections to you. Fortunately, there is a Federal Lemon Law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that may provide protections to you if you have purchased a used car or truck that is defective.
The Magnuson-Moss Act is a warranty related act that forces manufacturers to comply with the strict terms set forth in their given warranties. If the used vehicle that you purchased had some original manufacturer’s warranty on it at the time of purchase and you suffered a defect or non-conformity while under that warranty, you may be able to bring a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Act. The Act has similar protections to the Pennsylvania Lemon Law in that the consumer can get a free replacement or full refund of the purchase price if the manufacturer cannot correct the defect. The Magnuson-Moss Act also provides for recovery of all collateral charges, including attorney fees, costs, interest payments, taxes and down payments.
If you have a defective vehicle claim, there is no reason to go it alone. Our firm handles these types of cases on a daily basis, AT NO COST TO YOU! Call Attorney Artim at (412) 348-8600 to discuss your defective car and find out if you are entitled to case compensation. If you prefer, send an email to Attorney Greg Artim