After an endless search, finding your dream car can be a giant sigh of relief. But that moment of exhilaration can be quickly diminished if you find out that your car is a lemon - or an automobile that breaks down shortly after you get it. A car can be constituted as a lemon for a number of reasons, such as a dead engine or broken transmission - anything that can make it unsafe to drive. Driving with defective parts can put you in danger and cause even more damage to the car. The repairs - and even your injuries, in some cases - may be covered by car insurance.
Although you won't be able to drive a lemon after it breaks down, you will still have to make your monthly car payments. This can squeeze you out of future savings and create a major financial burden, especially if you need a vehicle to get around.
Here is how to go about dealing with a lemon:
Alert the dealer
If you find that your car is defective, your first course of action should be to alert your dealer as soon as possible. Punctuality is key here because the quicker you alert them, the sooner they can deal with the problem. If you find that your car is still not functioning after visiting the dealership and receiving vehicle repairs, you can enact the lemon law.
This legal remedy will help you in the unfortunate case that your car is a goner. Every state has their own specific spin on the lemon law, but the gist is that you will be reimbursed for the car after you have tried several times to fix it. To file a claim, contact your state's Attorney General and ask them the information you will need. Chances are, you will need proper documents from either the manufacturer or dealer. Once you have the proper information, file a claim with the state.
Although this legal procedure can help you out, be forewarned that you will have to go through the courts and it may take a while. When looking at cars, be sure to ask for all the information about the vehicle from the dealer. Looking at a car's history can give you a better idea whether you may have purchased a lemon.
Ending up with a lemon is a worst-case scenario. When buying a car - do your homework, and take swift, appropriate action if you think you've got a lemon. As always, if you're shopping around for car insurance, visit CoverHound and see what we can do for you.