Trading in a “Lemon” Car: You Still Have Rights!

Purchasing a vehicle should be an exciting event. But when your new car starts giving you problems, the excitement quickly flips to frustration. And if the dealer can’t seem to fix the vehicle’s defects, a common solution is just to trade in the lemon for a car that works.

Trading in your lemon will solve the problem of having to deal with it. But doing so won’t help with the fact that you overpaid for a defective vehicle. However, you can still pursue a Lemon Law claim under state or federal laws even if you’ve sold or traded in the lemon.

Collect the Compensation You’re Owed

Lemon laws were designed to protect consumers by holding manufacturers responsible for their defective products. So, whether or not you still own the vehicle is irrelevant. The manufacturer still sold you a defective product. And if you’d known about the defect(s) at the time of purchase, you would have known that the vehicle wasn’t worth what you paid.

Thus, if the vehicle you traded in meets the definition of a lemon, the manufacturer owes you compensation for the amount you originally overpaid. However, you won’t have much luck if you simply ask the manufacturer to cut you a check.

You’ll need to take legal action. But don’t worry, at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® we make it as easy as possible for our clients to collect what they’re owed. Just know that there are time limits on when you can file a claim. So, the sooner you reach out to us for a free case review the better.

Is It Too Late to File a Lemon Law Claim?

Almost certainly no. Although Lemon Law differs between states, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers throughout the United States. Under this “federal Lemon Law,” consumers may file claims for up to four years from the date of the breach of warranty. For lemons, the date of the first failed repair attempt is often considered to be the date of the warranty breach.

How Much Money Can I Expect if I File a Lemon Law Claim?

Lemon laws typically require manufacturers to accept the return of the lemon and provide the consumer with a refund or replacement vehicle. But if you’ve already traded in your lemon, you won’t be able to return it for a refund or a replacement. In these cases, the law will attempt to make you whole by compelling the manufacturer to refund the amount you originally overpaid.

If you win your case, the manufacturer is also responsible for any incidental costs you incurred because of the lemon. This includes towing and rental car costs. We’ve also helped a number of clients collect additional funds as compensation for the aggravation and inconvenience their lemon caused.

In all cases, federal law provides that if you win your case the manufacturer must pay your attorneys’ fees and costs. As a result, you can hire a Lemon Law attorney to seek damages for the amount you overpaid for your lemon AND make the company who made your lemon pay for your lawyer!

Having said all of that, the amount awarded to each of our clients is highly dependent on the specific details of their case. Given that we offer free case reviews, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to us, and you potentially stand to gain thousands of dollars. So, touch base with us today and let us help to make you whole!

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