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AUTOMOBILE LEMON LAW

 The Automobile Lemon Law was enacted to protect consumers who have had the misfortune of purchasing a new car which is defective or does not operate properly. Manufacturers are required to provided to each purchaser at the time of original purachase of a new motor vehicle a written statemetn containing a copy of the Attorney General's statement and listing of zone offices, with address and phone numbers, which can be contact by the purchaser for the purpose of enforcing the Automobile Lemon Law.

The "Lemon Law" covers only defeats which occur within the first year, 12,000 miles of use, or the term of the express warranty, whichever comes first.

Repair Obligations

The manufacturer of a new motor vehicle sold or leased and registered in the Commonwealth shall repair or correct, at no cost to the purchaser, any defect with the car which:

 (1) substantially impairs the use, value or safety;

 (2) Does not conform to a manufacturers express warranty.

Refund or Replacement

If the manufacturer fails to repair or correct a defect after three attempts, or the car has been out-of-service due to the defect for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days, the purchaser has two options:

 (1) Have the manufacturer replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle of equal value; or

 (2) Receive a refund from the manufacturer for the full purchase price less a reasonable allowance for the purchaser's use of the vehicle.

Itemized Statement Required

In the event that repairs should have to be performed on your new vehicle, make sure that you receive an itemized statement of all repair work done. It is a requirement that you be given this itemized statement of repairs, which you should keep for future reference.

Dispute Process

To resolve a dispute concerning whether a new car is actually a “Lemon”, you may first have to go through a dispute settlement process, setup by the manufacturer, before you can take the manufacturer to court. A victory in court would entitle you to court cost and attorneys fees.

Disclosure of Damage to New Vehicles

New car dealers are required to tell consumers who are considering purchasing a vehicle represented as new, of any material damage which the car has sustained at the manufacturer or the dealer. In some cases, a dealer cannot simply repair material damage that has occurred to a new vehicle, and continue to represent it as new. The consumer must first be informed before she decides whether or not to pay full purchase price for that particular vehicle.

Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule

This rule, which is promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission, provides protection for consumers who are purchasers of used cars.

The Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule prohibits dealers from:

 (1) Misrepresenting the mechanical condition of a used car; or

 (2) Misrepresenting the warranty terms of a used car.

The rule also requires the dealer to put a buyer’s guide window sticker in every used car. This sticker must:

 (1) Advise you whether or not the car is sold with a warranty;

 (2) If a warranty is included, inform you of the terms of the warranty;

 (3) Advise you to get all promises in writing; and

 (4) Advise you to have the car inspected by a mechanic before you buy.

Since this window sticker is part of your contract, you should be sure to keep it. If you wish to correct or report any violations of the rule, you must first contact the Federal Trade Commission, who is responsible for its enforcement.

You also have the option of contacting the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-441-2555 concerning unfair business practices. You can contact the Better Business Bureau at 412-456—2720, who will also send a report to the Attorney General’s Office. You would then need to press 2 on your phone for the Lemon Law.

You can file your complaint at the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau.

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