I think I bought a lemon and need to know what to do about it.?

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I’ve had this used car for 7 months, bought the extended warranty which has helped some. So far I’ve already had to replace the transmission and the water pump and now it’s in the shop again and they’re telling me the electrical system is shot. The warranty helped pay for the first two repairs but they are refusing to help with this one. Some electrical problems are covered by the warranty but not all. I feel like I’m being screwed over and that this car is a worthless hunk of junk. I owe $ 3000 on the car and I don’t want it to ruin my credit. Thinking of contacting a lawyer but I’m afraid of the expense of that. Afraid I’ll lose the case and end up with the car, it’s payments, repair bills and a lawyer’s bill. Help!

7 Comments
  1. Reply
    cgriffin1972
    June 26, 2011 at 7:51 am

    contact the dealer and ask about a buy back.

  2. Reply
    mccoyblues
    June 26, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Lemon laws do not apply to used cars so forget a lawyer.

    There is only two things you can do. Keep the car and suck up the bad decision you made or Sell the car and hope to not lose too much in the deal.

  3. Reply
    armyjim_2000
    June 26, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Depending on where you live, you might have a case under your state’s Lemon laws. If you bought it from a Dealer, you should contact them and tell them your problem. It wouldn’t hurt to talk to a lawyer and see what he says.

    However, if you bought the car from an individual, all bets are off.

    This might sound kinda glib, but if all else fails, trade it in. At least you can try to get something for it towards a newer car.

  4. Reply
    stevet
    June 26, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Here in connecticut, we have a law called a lemon law that would help in your situtation, however, everything sold has to have the fit of merchanatable. in otherwise, its got to do what it was bought to do, I would contact the BBB or Consumer Affaires in your state and see what they would say. Did you have the car cheched by an indepedent garage before you bought it?

  5. Reply
    Scott H
    June 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

    You bought a used car. Anytime you do that, you’re rolling the dice. Lemon laws apply to brand new cars and the original owners only. Nothing wrong with buying a used car, but you just have to know what you’re getting yourself into. If you don’t have the knowledge to properly evaluate one yourself, take it to a shop you trust and ask them to do a pre-purchase inspection. It can save you a lot of money and headaches down the road.

  6. Reply
    sfcjcl
    June 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Well, depends on the state you purchased the car in and the terms of sale. I would suggest you contact your local DMV for contact information regarding the Lemon Law.

    I do know that most states do not extend Lemon Law protection on a vehicle over a certain age and / or mileage, which I think is the case here. My recommendation is to trade the car in to a dealer on a New Vehicle. Okay, you are proably wondering why and I will explain. Banks will loan up to 110% of the value on a new car, thus you could get a new vehicle with a new warranty and get rid of your hunk of junk.

    Example of how I would do this deal if I were in your shoes:

    MSRP (Sticker Price) Invoice
    $ 20000.00 Base Price $ 18000.00
    $ 4000.00 Options $ 2500.00
    $ 600.00 Destination $ 600.00
    $ 350.00 Dealer Prep $ 000.00

    $ 24950.00 Total $ 21000.00

    Using this example, you should negotiate as follows:

    STICKER PRICE MINUS TRADE IN PLUS BALANCED OWED ON OLD CAR.

    $ 24950.00 – $ 6000.00 + $ 3000.00 =
    $ 21950.00 plus tax-title and lisc. == $ 24000.00

    Monthly payments for 60 months at 5.99% = $ 464.00

    I would suggest this option to you. Either way, Good Luck

  7. Reply
    sovereign_carrie
    June 26, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Lemon laws do not pertain to used cars. To deem a new or demonstrator car as a lemon, it must have a substantial defect that impairs the use, safety or value of the vehicle that cannot be resolved despite a minimum of 3 attempts for the same defect or a minimum of 15 days out of service.

    Unfortunately, electrical problems happen in older cars. The insulation around the wiring cracks and deteriorates, creating shorts and burnt out componants. I recently had to repair a wiring harness in a friends 240SX that was shorting out the fuel injectors. People beat on automatic transmissions, if you don’t want the risk associated with an automatic transmission, buy a manual transmission vehicle. They’re much easier to maintain. Replacing a clutch is easy.

    Water pumps just go sometimes. As do many other vehicular components. Just about everything on a car is a wear item which will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.

    You probably should have eaten the cost to have the vehicle inspected by your regular mechanic (you have one, right?) as these problems could have been avoided with an inspection. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and decide whether or not you want to keep the car or trade it in for another car.

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