Chip Shortage Limits Availability of Loaner Vehicles

The global semiconductor shortage has dramatically reduced the supply of new vehicles to the market. With fewer new vehicles available, prices have spiked, causing consumers to think twice before trading in their aging cars and trucks for newer models. As a result, used cars are in short supply, too.

With a shortage of both new and used vehicles, loaner vehicles are also harder to come by. Loaners have been a way to incentivize customers into servicing their vehicles at the dealership. And, traditionally, dealers have used loaners to entice customers into upgrading their vehicles by providing new models with all of the bells and whistles.

Consumers Are Paying for Rental Cars in Lieu of Loaners

Rental Cars in Lieu of Loaners

But these days, if your car is out of service for repairs, you’re probably going to need to find an alternative mode of transportation by yourself. Rental cars are the most common solution. However, the car shortage has hit the rental car industry, too. And as a result, the cost of renting a car is far greater than it was just a few years ago.

A basic one-day rental that cost $25 before the chip shortage could set you back $45 today. So if your car is out of service for a couple of days, you might be forced to pay $90 just to ensure you can make it to work on time. And when the repairs are only necessary because of a warrantied defect, that $90 can be a frustrating bill to pay.

If you’re lucky enough to have a car that rarely needs service, rental fees may be aggravating yet manageable. But when you unknowingly purchase a lemon, it might be out of service for 30 days or more within the first year. And if you still need to get around town, you could end up paying $1,300+ on rental cars within a year of buying a brand-new vehicle.

Holding Manufacturers Responsible for Rental Fees

As maddening as that would be, the good news is that both federal and state lemon laws allow you to hold the manufacturer responsible for those costs. Consequential or collateral damages, such as rental fees, are recoverable when incurred as a result of your lemon’s defect(s).

The definition of a lemon differs from state to state. The Lemon Law in California, for example, provides a window of 18 months or 18,000 miles for defects to arise and potentially classify the vehicle as a lemon. The Texas Lemon Law provides an even larger window: 24 months or 24,000 miles.

Regardless of where you live, if your new car has been in and out of the shop for repairs, you might be entitled to compensation. If you have a lemon and have been paying for a rental car every time you bring it in for service, the manufacturer will need to reimburse you for doing so.

Touch base with us today for a free case review so that we can help you recover those rental fees and collect compensation for your lemon itself.

We understand how aggravating it is to buy a lemon, as well as the added frustration of needing to pay out of pocket for a rental. Let us help to relieve that frustration and secure a check for you at the same time.

The Future of Loaners

With the chip shortage expected to continue until 2023, loaners may be a rarity for another year or more. So if you need to take your car in for service, plan accordingly.

And reach out to a Lemon Law lawyer, like our team at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®, if you even suspect you might have a lemon.

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