What to Do If Your New Car Is Defective

Many of us have experienced the following situation before. We buy a product and take it home only to find out that it’s defective in some way. Most of us simply take it back to the store, and that’s it. However, this is a little more complicated when a car is involved. Taking it back to the dealer can be a legally tricky obstacle. So what are your options when you run into this type of issue?

Look at Your Warranty

One of the first things you should look for when you discover that you have an efficient car is the warranty attached to it. Most vehicles that are sold at dealerships do come with some form of warranty that would cover a defect. The issue that people tend to have is not lack of a warranty, but knowing what it actually covers. Most warranties only cover parts of the car that are meant to last for years. These include your engine, suspension and various types of electronics. What they won’t cover are tire wear; brakes; and, essentially, anything that can be classified as normal wear-and-tear items.

Contact the Manufacturer

Most manufacturers don’t want to have a negative review in their books or lose a customer. According to Lemon Law Associates of California, “You should first give the manufacturer the opportunity to correct the mistake. This route may take a little longer, but it is the most direct way to fix your issue as you can receive direct support or written authorization for a replacement vehicle.”


Before any report of a defective car can be officially filed, you will need to submit proof that a reasonable amount of repair attempts on the defective area have been performed. Keep in mind that only an authorized manufacturer or its authorized dealer or agent can perform these repairs. The law states that a sufficient number of repair attempts is at least three in order to count as a reasonable amount of proof.

Consult a Lawyer

If all else fails, you will need to consult with a lawyer, preferably one who is familiar with the lemon law. Essentially, the Lemon Law is a regulation that is enforced both at the federal and state level in order to protect consumers from defective cars. If you have had the previously mentioned repairs performed and still have not received a satisfactory deal, a lawyer can be very beneficial in getting either a replacement or a full refund.

As a consumer, you have a lot of options when it comes to receiving a bad product whether it is a broken toaster or even a brand-new vehicle. Understanding your rights and options is the first step in getting yourself the best outcome possible.

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