A Mechanic Inspecting a New CarIf your new car has problems that require repeated repair attempts—such as fit and finish issues, technology malfunctions, or engine trouble—you may qualify for a replacement vehicle or the cash equivalent under Virginia’s Lemon Law. You will have to follow some specific procedures, including documenting the repair attempts, in order to make a claim under the law, but if the problem with your vehicle makes it potentially unsafe for you and your passengers, it is important that you act quickly to get the vehicle repaired.

Knowing When a Vehicle Problem Is a Safety Concern

You never want to drive a car that is not operating properly, but there are some mechanical issues that are serious enough that you should get them fixed as soon as possible and not drive the car until they are fixed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following defects are considered safety-related and should be reported to the dealer right away: 

  • Steering problems that could indicate the potential for partial or complete loss of vehicle control.

  • Signs of fuel leakage that could cause a vehicle fire.

  • Accelerator controls that may break or stick.

  • Cracked wheels that could result in loss of vehicle control.

  • Windshield wipers that don’t adequately clear the windshield.

  • Seats and seat backs that fail unexpectedly during normal use.

  • Critical vehicle components that break, fall apart, or separate from the vehicle, causing potential loss of vehicle control or injury to persons inside or outside the vehicle.

  • Wiring system problems that result in loss of lightning or fire.

  • Air bags that deploy when they are not supposed to.

If you are experiencing any of these problems with your new car, return it to the dealer as soon as possible for repair. If the dealer is unable to make the repair in a reasonable number of attempts, you may have a case under Virginia’s Lemon Law. Whatever the outcome, you should not be driving a car with a safety-related defect under any circumstances.  Under Virginia's Lemon Law if you have a serious safety-related defect, and the manufacturer has received a written letter from you about it and the safety-related defect still exists after 1 unsuccessful repair attempt, you may be entitled to a full refund and legal fees.  

Call Us Right Away With a Safety Issue

If your new vehicle has a significant flaw or a safety-related issue, call the Consumer Law Group as soon as possible. We will make sure you are driving a safe vehicle before you know it. Call our Richmond office today at 804-282-7900.