There’s nothing like the smell of a new car—unless it smells like a lemon. When you put a substantial amount of your monthly income into a new car payment, you don’t expect your car to spend more time in the repair shop than on the road. When your new or recent-model used car has one or more defects and multiple repair attempts haven’t resolved the problem, you may need to seek an experienced Los Angeles lemon law lawyer to represent your interests against the automotive mega-manufacturers who protect their profits at the consumer’s expense. While a skilled attorney can help a lemon car owner secure a refund, buyback, or replacement vehicle through a Lemon Law claim, it’s always better to avoid buying a defective vehicle in the first place. So, how can you avoid buying a lemon when you’re car shopping?
Avoiding a Brand New Lemon Car
When you buy a brand-new car, you expect to have years of dependable driving ahead of you. Unfortunately, sometimes you find your car in the dealership’s garage more often than in your own. While it can be challenging to avoid accidentally buying a lemon when purchasing a brand-new vehicle without a history or background, there are some steps to minimize the chances of getting the squeeze:
- If the new car was released on the market months ago, do a quick internet search to see if other purchasers are reporting recurring defects or problems
- Check the auto manufacturer’s background to see if it has a history of producing lemons. If the manufacturer of the car you’re interested in purchasing has produced other models that became notorious for lemons, you should try a car by a different manufacturer
- Do some research into the make and model of the car you’re interested in purchasing before you do a test drive so you know how every feature and component should function
- Inspect the car thoroughly and do a test drive out on the road, and not just around the parking lot. Be sure to drive the vehicle long enough to notice defects in any of the major mechanical systems. Listen for unusual sounds during the test drive. Check the dash for warning lights and try out every feature.
Doing as much research into the manufacturer’s history as well as that of a particular make and model of a new car before taking it for a test drive can help you narrow the field and maximize your chances of buying a reliable new car instead of a lemon.
Tips For Avoiding a Used Lemon Car
Though it may seem that you’re more likely to buy a lemon car if you purchase a used vehicle compared to a new one, the truth is that it’s actually easier to avoid unpleasant surprises with a used vehicle. Buying a used vehicle from a reliable dealership means you’ll have access to a history. Before purchasing a used car, follow these tips to avoid a sour deal:
- Get a vehicle history report on any used car you’re interested in purchasing. Many online forums offer this service and you’ll only need the VIN of the vehicle. Avoid the car if there’s a history of damage or accidents
- Check for multiple past owners. If a used car has already changed owners multiple times within a relatively short period, it’s likely that it had recurring problems or ones that were too expensive to repair
- Read the repair history. Be sure to check for a history of expensive repair jobs, and repeated repair attempts on any single component as well as for the car’s regular general maintenance record
- Make sure the vehicle is still under factory warranty and not sold “As is.” If you do have the misfortune of purchasing a used lemon car, you cannot make a lemon law claim if the vehicle is outside of its original warranty or bought “as is.”
A car is a major purchase. It’s also something we depend on for our daily lives and routines. It’s important to buy a reliable vehicle that doesn’t risk your safety or your wallet.