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Things You Can Do Yourself When You Have a Lemon

What Can You Do If You Think Your Car Is a Lemon?

If you’ve been burdened with vehicle problems and think that you may have a lemon car, truck, RV, or motorcycle, then you should know that you have rights under your state’s Lemon Law, as well as under federal law. These laws are in place to protect consumers and help ensure you’re not forced to keep a defective product.

How Can You Help Ensure Your Lemon Case Succeeds?

To get the best possible settlement and the greatest compensation, however, it’s extremely helpful to keep thorough records. When you do, you can easily prove that you have followed the procedures necessary to classify your vehicle as a lemon.

Keep a Logbook for Your Lemon

Whether you use a spiral bound notebook or a computer spreadsheet, create a logbook to document all the time, effort, energy, and expense dealing with your lemon costs you. It doesn’t need to be fancy; it simply needs to be an organized place to keep track of your attempts to fix your lemon. In your logbook, make sure you:

  • Write down every time you speak to or visit the dealer or manufacturer. This proves that you have given them ample opportunity to fix the problem.
  • Note details of each communication. Be sure include the date and time as well as the name, title, and phone number of the person to whom you spoke. Also, make an entry outlining the information and instructions provided to you.
  • Keep track of your vehicle’s performance. Note the times and dates when the problems occur.
  • Note the days your vehicle is unavailable. Record all the dates you are unable to use your vehicle either because it isn’t in working condition or because it’s being repaired.

Keep Repair Records for Your Lemon

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to keep the original paperwork of all repair and maintenance orders (even those that may not pertain to the recurring problem with your vehicle). Never leave your vehicle at the dealership without a copy of the work order.

Keep Every Piece of Written Correspondence on Your Lemon

Hold on to a copy of every letter and email you send, as well as proof of delivery. Some states require that you contact the car manufacturer via certified mail, so it’s important to understand your state’s laws. Keep a folder with correspondence and delivery documentation.

Research Lemon Law Questions Online

If you want to know if your lemon car or lemon truck has a history of problems, check the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) for your vehicle. TSBs alert dealerships to defects and repairs for certain models. Also, request that the dealer’s service representative write your TSB request on your repair slip.

Remember that while similar, Lemon Law details vary from state to state. Be sure to check the page on your state for the most accurate information about how the law applies to your situation.