A Man Working at a Repair Shop DeskYou may not be expecting to have to take your brand new car in for repairs. After all, you decided to trade in your old car to avoid trips to the repair shop. Your new car should be perfect. However, when you find that there is an issue with your new car, it is important that you only take it to a dealer authorized by the manufacturer. If you don’t, you could lose your chance to file a Lemon Law claim if the defects are not repaired in a timely manner.

Who Can Make a Repair to a New Car?

Lemon Law claims apply to any “nonconformity” in a new car and may be anything from a fit-and-finish flaw to a major safety defect. All of these issues are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty and must be repaired by an authorized dealer—usually the dealership where you bought the car. It is important that you document all repair attempts and keep all receipts in order to support a Lemon Law claim down the road.  Before leaving the dealership with your repair order, make sure the information on it lists all the complaints you made even if there were no problems found.  Make sure the days out of service are noted and accurate.  Under the law, the dealer is required to give you a repair order.  

What Could Void My Claim?

Many drivers have tried-and-true mechanics whom they would trust with their lives. Unfortunately, for a new car repair, you will have to put your faith in the dealership instead. Remember that if they cannot repair it in a reasonable number of attempts, you could be eligible for a full refund or a new car under Virginia’s Lemon Law. To avoid losing that opportunity, avoid the following:

  • Making a repair yourself. You may be a skilled do-it-yourselfer, but don’t touch your new car! You should not have to fix anything on a new car, so take it in to the dealership for everything—even a problem you could easily fix yourself. Doing your own repairs could ruin your chances for a Lemon Law claim and void the warranty.

  • Going to your local mechanic. Your local mechanic may be certified and highly skilled, but wait until you’re past the time limit for filing a lemon law claim—usually 18 months—before you take your car to him for a repair.

  • Going to a chain shop. Chain repair shops may advertise that they are “certified,” but they are not authorized to make warranty repairs. Avoid these shops until your warranty has expired, and even then, you may want to only go to them for routine maintenance.

You Can Trust an Experienced Lemon Law Attorney

If you are getting push-back from a manufacturer on a legitimate Lemon Law claim, call the experienced Lemon Law attorneys at The Consumer Law Group. John C. Gayle co-wrote the law and he will evaluate your case and let you know if you have a legal claim. Fill out the form on this page to get started.