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A Pennsylvania Lemon Law Review

Buying a new car can be a fun and rewarding experience that most people enjoy. Whether out of necessity or for pleasure, car buyers spend a great deal of time carefully considering the qualities of each vehicle to decide on the vehicle that will be the right fit for them. Unfortunately, consumers occasionally find their dream car can quickly become a nightmare and in Pennsylvania this is no exception.

Occasional mechanical problems can appear even when a vehicle is new, however when these problems repeatedly occur, Pennsylvania drivers must protect their rights. Therefore, a brief review of the Pennsylvania Lemon Law should be useful to anyone that has a new vehicle or has ever considered buying a new car in the state of Pennsylvania.

What is a Lemon?

Generally speaking, a “lemon” is a new vehicle that has been purchased or leased which suffers from a repetitive nonconformity. A nonconformity is defined as a defect or condition which substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle.

How Does Pennsylvania Define a Lemon?

The Pennsylvania Lemon Law applies to new cars purchased or leased in Pennsylvania and registered in PA, OR purchased in another state but registered in PA by the first owner immediately after purchase. In order to qualify for remedy under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law, your vehicle must be used for personal use and must suffer its first non conformity (that’s a defect which affects the use, value or safety of the car) within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. The problem must occur at least two more times under the Manufacturers warranty period OR the vehicle must be in the shop 30 days in the 12/12 period. The 30 days do not have to be consecutive, nor do they have to be for the same problem.

What If a Vehicle Is Not Covered by Pennsylvania’s Lemon Law?

It’s important to note that even if your car falls outside of the limitations established by the Pennsylvania Lemon Law, there are still Federal breaches of warranty laws which may apply. If your car has an original or extended manufacturer’s warranty and has a problem that can’t be fixed after three repair attempts, chances are you may have some recourse. Therefore, it’s suggested that you contact a qualified Pennsylvania Lemon Law Attorney to determine whether you are entitle to compensation

How to Avoid Buying a Lemon

Many people think that when buying a new car, the odds of getting a lemon can’t be reduced, but this isn’t the case. With a little extra effort, car buyers can greatly reduce the odds of having a sour experience by following this simple advice:

1) Review the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Complaints List – Avoid the Vehicle with a High Proportion of Complaints

2) Check out the Car Book by Consumer Advocate Jack Gillis and The Center for Auto Safety as a Guide to the Highest Rated Vehicles.

3) Inspect the Vehicle Thoroughly Including a Test Drive; Take Extensive Notes , You May Need Them Later

4) Carefully Document All Vehicle Repairs Keeping All Invoices and DocumentsUnderstand Your Rights Under Pennsylvania Law

In conclusion, buying or leasing a new car in Pennsylvania does not have to be a risky proposition. By knowing your rights and taking active steps to avoid a “lemon” you can dramatically decrease the likelihood of problems with your new car and enjoy the new car experience without fear or concern.