If the car you purchased has had chronic issues and has been in for repairs multiple times without solving the issue, you may have a lemon on your hands. As frustrating as this situation can be, Virginia fortunately has a Lemon Law that affords consumers protections against being sold a lemon.
If, after multiple attempts to repair an issue, you believe you have a lemon, you can request that the dealer who sold you the car buy back the lemon for the full purchase price (and sometimes other additional costs as well.) To request a buyback, you need to send a Certified/Return Receipt requested letter to the manufacturer. Make a copy of your letter for your records. Be sure to include the following information:
8 Things to Include In Your Buyback Request Letter for Your Lemon
- Identify the vehicle - year, make, model, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).
- List the dates you have taken the car in for repairs and for what problems, and that you want the problems corrected once and for all.
- Include a copy (you keep original) of each repair order.
- Request a buyback under the Virginia Lemon Law if they are unable to fix the problems.
- Keep a signed copy of the letter.
- Send the letter Certified/Return Receipt. The manufacturer has 15 days from their date of receipt to make a final repair. The date will be stamped on the green card when you receive it back from the Post Office. If the manufacturer does not contact you to schedule a repair within the 15 days, wait out the 15 days and then call The Consumer Law Group at 804-282-7900. If the manufacturer contacts you, makes a final repair attempt, and the problem returns, then call The Consumer Law Group. If the manufacturer offers to buyback or to replace the vehicle, call The Consumer Law Group to make sure you are getting a good deal.
- Keep the green certified return receipt card—where the recipient signed for the letter and dated it—with a copy of your letter.
- Remember that you have 18 months from your date of purchase to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. The sending of the letter to the manufacturer does NOT extend the 18-month deadline. The only way to extend the 18-month deadline is to go through arbitration prior to the deadline.
Get Legal Help from the Co-Author of Virginia's Lemon Law
View a Sample Letter to Put the Manufacturer on Notice as an example here. If you’re unable to resolve this issue, or if the dealership is being difficult, we urge you to contact us for help. Attorney John Gayle is the co-author of Virginia’s Lemon Law, and has years of experience protecting the rights of consumers just like you. From our headquarters in Richmond we proudly serve all of Virginia. Complete the form on this page or call 804-282-7900 to learn more.