Friday, June 5, 2015

My Car is a Lemon – So What Are My Options?

June 5, 2015

Dear Cathy:

I am a female and I bought a new car at a dealership but I believe it is a lemon.  I have had to take it back in for service several times for the same thing but they have yet to fix it.  The people at the dealership, including the salesman who sold me the vehicle, have very bad customer service -- so what are my options? Car Trouble, California

Dear Car Trouble:

A lemon is a new car that breaks down repeatedly for the same reason and cannot be repaired.  Each state has a Lemon Law to protect consumers by allowing the car buyer to exchange the flawed vehicle for a new one or have the manufacturer buy it back.

In most states, the Lemon Law applies to problems that arise during the first year at 12,000 miles of ownership.  If you have a new vehicle with serious problems, you need to document everything.  Keep records of every phone call or repair attempt.

That’s why it’s important that the repair work tickets are written correctly in case you have to invoke your rights under your state’s Lemon Law.  You can contact the administrator of your state’s Lemon Laws and learn more at or

You can learn more info on how to buy a new or used vehicle and how to keep up the maintenance on it by reading “A Woman’s Guide To Buying A New or Used Vehicle: Everyday Secrets You Should Know” (Part 1 & Part II) – available only as an e-book at

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