Buying a new vehicle is a major investment. Unfortunately, even brand new vehicles can have problems. When a new vehicle has problems that cannot or are not being corrected by the dealership, there are options available. The New Jersey Lemon Law provides protections for consumers in these situations.
What is the Lemon Law in New Jersey?
When a person purchases a new vehicle, they have a reasonable expectation to have a properly running vehicle. Sometimes, problems can occur, but when those problems seem to make it impossible to use the vehicle properly and safely, the consumer should be compensated for those issues.
The lemon law in New Jersey offers protections for these situations. When a person purchases a car, personal truck, or motorcycle that has problems or defects that impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle, the manufacturer-authorized dealership must make it right.
The lemon law applies if a consumer must take their new vehicle to the repair shop three or more times for the same problem, or the vehicle is in the shop for twenty or more calendar days within the first two years or 24,000 miles. Compensation for these issues can include a repurchase of the vehicle, a new vehicle, or monetary compensation equal to the loss of value of the vehicle.
Is Legal Representation Necessary?
Legal representation is not required to file a claim under the lemon law. Consumers can pursue a case on their own, file through the Better Business Bureau, or even through the NJ Consumer Affairs office. However, this process is complicated and confusing. The final decisions in these cases are legally binding and there may be no option for appeal.
This is why it is strongly recommended that consumers get legal representation for these types of cases. An attorney can assist with the filing of a claim and help pursue the case in court when needed. They can ensure that all the proper information is submitted in a timely manner and the consumer’s rights are protected throughout the process.
The best part about getting legal representation to help with these types of cases is that under the lemon law in New Jersey, legal representation is completely free. The provisions of the law allow any legal fees to be paid by the car company instead of the consumer when they win.
What are the Proper Procedures under the Lemon Law?
When purchasing a new vehicle, most people expect that the vehicle will run properly and without issue for at least the first two years of ownership. Unfortunately, it is very common for even brand new vehicles to have a problem in the first couple of years. At the first sign of a problem, filing a lemon law claim is not possible and the car should not be returned. There are proper steps to take when a problem occurs.
Any problem with the vehicle should be taken to the dealership for repairs. When the vehicle is returned, it is important to keep a copy of the repair invoice. This is a record of the problem, the repairs performed, the date it occurred, and even the mileage of the vehicle when it happened. This will even have a record of the days the vehicle was out of service.
If the problem continues, or other problems arise, maintain those records as well. If the repair visits start to pile up or the vehicle sits in the shop for more than twenty days, it may be a good idea to contact an attorney to assist with the issue.