Any time you have to return to the car dealership after purchasing a new car is a hassle, but when you are making repeated visits because of a problem with your new car, it is especially frustrating. Fortunately, there may be something you can do. If you have taken your car in repeatedly to have the same mechanical or safety defect fixed, you may be able to return the car for a full refund or replacement. Under Virginia’s Lemon Law, any defect that is not fixed in a “reasonable number of repair attempts” is eligible for a claim. We explain what counts as a repair attempt here.
It’s All in the Wording
Virginia’s Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, otherwise known as the Lemon Law, is a carefully worded document designed to give consumers legal rights when they purchase a defective new car. Our own John Cole Gayle co-authored the law, so he is well aware of what the language means. A key component of the law is that the car has not been fixed in a reasonable number of repair attempts. Virginia law further explains “reasonable” to mean three or more attempts in an 18-month period for a mechanical defect and one attempt for a serious safety issue. But what exactly counts as a repair attempt? What if you take it in for evaluation, but nothing is done?
What Is a Repair Attempt?
The first thing to be aware of is that all repair attempts must be made by an authorized repair shop, which usually means any authorized dealer for the manufacturer of your vehicles. In general, a repair attempt is the replacement or adjustment of a part or component to correct a defect or condition. If the dealership inspects or test-drives the vehicle without making any repairs, even though they claim "no problem found", and you later prove that the problem does exist, this visit would also count as a repair attempt. You will have to provide documentation of each visit to the dealership and what was done to the car to support your Lemon Law claim, so make sure you get a repair order for every repair, and that the days out of service and all the complaints you told the dealer about are listed.
The Consumer Law Group, P.C. Is Your Lemon Law Firm
Many Lemon Law claims can be easily resolved by the consumer by working directly with the automaker. However, when your legitimate claim is rejected, you may need a lawyer to back you up. We will help you gather documentation of every repair attempt to support your claim. Fill out the form on this page for a case evaluation.