Lemon law: What to do if your car is defective

We discussed Minnesota’s lemon law in a previous post. If you think you might have a lemon, we have a few tips that might make it easier to win your case, if you’re not able to resolve your issue out of court.

1. Read your owner’s manual. You want to make sure you’re maintaining your car properly. When you bring your lemon law case, the manufacturer might accuse you of failing to maintain your vehicle properly, and argue that the problem is your fault. If you’ve kept up with the scheduled maintenance (and you can prove it) and you haven’t abused the car, you shouldn’t have any problems. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, you might be able to get an online copy.

2. Document the car’s problem on your own. The dealership/manufacturer will try to argue that there’s no problem with the car, or that the problem doesn’t affect the car’s performance. Keep your own proof of the car’s defect. Your phone’s video camera can be your best friend here. When the problem happens, make sure the camera’s running. Show the video to the service department at the dealership so that they know exactly what the problem is.

3. Keep copies of all repair orders and communications with the dealership/manufacturer. You want to have proof that the dealership tried, and failed to repair your car. Keep all the repair orders, and make sure they’re correct. Make sure they state that they tried to fix the problem. Even more importantly, make sure the repair orders show the correct dates the car was brought into the shop and given back to you. If your car has been in the shop for more than 30 days, you don’t want repair orders that say the car was only there for a week.

Most of all, when you think you have a lemon, get in touch with a lawyer immediately. We can help make sure the dealer isn’t pulling any tricks on you. We offer free consultations.