Your Rights, Warranty or No Warranty

It is evident that lemon laws are needed worse than ever. Following in the footsteps of many other states, Oklahoma is now pushing through legislation to expand their current lemon law. Under the proposed legislation, a consumer who bought a defective vehicle would have the option of a refund or a replacement vehicle of a similar type if persistent problems developed in the first year of ownership, and would apply to new vehicles that had less than 15,000 miles on them during the first year of ownership. To qualify, a vehicle owner would have to bring the vehicle back to the dealer if a problem develops, and because the vehicle would still be under warranty, it would be a way to notify the manufacturer of the problem.

Laws such as these raise questions in the minds of many consumers, however. What are their rights under warranty, and what if the warranty expires before problems are fixed?

“There are two main categories of warranties, called ‘full’ and ‘limited,’ explained by leading California lemon law attorney Norman Taylor. “A full warranty imposes many requirements on the manufacturer, including a requirement that the manufacturer replace a defective product after a reasonable opportunity to repair it. Unfortunately, however, most manufacturers only provide limited warranties.”

Questions on whether or not your warranty covers specific issues are best answered by a qualified lemon law attorney. There are many legal factors that apply in addition to a warranty when it comes to defective vehicles, and warranty or no warranty you still have rights under the law.

If a warranty expires before a dealer or manufacturer has corrected persistent defects, the manufacturer’s duty usually continues beyond the warranty period. “In some states, including California, when a defect appears during the warranty but repair attempts fail to correct the defect, the warranty period is extended until the defect has actually been fixed,” said Taylor. “This rule was established to prevent manufacturers from performing ‘band-aid’ repairs, designed to address the defect only until the warranty expires, and then saying, ‘we have no further obligation.’ The law requires a permanent cure.”

If you feel you have purchased a lemon, you should contact a qualified lemon law attorney right away.

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