While the Virginia Lemon Law protects consumers throughout the state, not every car that is purchased and has a problem is automatically considered a “lemon” for legal purposes. There are specific guidelines laid out in the law as far as exactly what makes a car a “lemon” and allows consumer to take legal action against the dealer or manufacturer. Complaints about vehicles that don’t meet these guidelines can’t be moved forward under the law.
When a Car Is Not a “Lemon” Under the Virginia Lemon Law
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a newly-purchased car, and it’s always frustrating to find out that a large purchase has turned out a little sour. While some new owners may be tempted to call their vehicles “lemons,” the following issues aren’t generally covered under the Virginia Lemon Law:
- Vehicles that have a problem that is repaired on the first attempt—or even, in some cases, the second or third attempt, as long as the cumulative number of days in the shop are under 30
- Vehicles that had a very dangerous issue, but have not demonstrated the problem again after repair
- Vehicles that have a problem that doesn’t significantly interfere with safety or drivability or value
- Most used cars, except in some limited circumstances
- Vehicles purchased over 18 months ago, in most cases you must file suit within 18 months
In some of these examples, it’s important to understand that the consumer may be able to take additional action to satisfy the law, such as making additional repair attempts. In other cases, it may be a matter of showing that a repair issue was really as serious as the consumer claims. Remember that all kinds of vehicles—not just cars—are covered by the law, so the same protections are likely to apply for purchases of new motorcycles, trucks, mopeds, and other types of vehicles.
They key thing to remember is that, even if you did purchase a car with problems, you can’t take action unless you seek repair, document the issues you’re having, notified the manufacturer in wrting and take steps to better understand the law and your rights.
Do You Have Questions About the Virginia Lemon Law and How it Applies to You?
If you have questions about whether or not your new vehicle is covered under the Virginia Law, you can simply fill out our Lemon Law Intake Form and tell us your story. Our law firm has extensive experience with Lemon Law cases, and we’d be happy to help you understand and investigate your consumer rights today.