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Are you stuck with a used car disguised as new?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Lemon Law

Imagine the excitement – you’ve driven off the dealership lot in your brand-new car, ready to hit the open road. But what if that shiny new feeling fades fast when you discover your “new” car is actually a used lemon? Don’t despair! Texas’ lemon law can offer protection for consumers in this situation.

There are a few ways you might discover that your “new” car isn’t so new. Maybe the odometer reading seems suspiciously high, or the vehicle history report reveals prior ownership. Perhaps mechanical problems arise that wouldn’t be expected in a brand-new car. Whatever the red flag, if you were sold a used car under the pretense of it being new, you likely have a case.

Understanding Texas’ lemon law

The state’s lemon law protects consumers who purchase or lease new vehicles with substantial problems that the dealership cannot fix within a reasonable number of attempts. The law applies to private passenger vehicles purchased or leased new in the Lone Star State.

The vehicle in question must have a substantial defect that significantly impairs its use, value or safety. This could be a recurring mechanical issue or a serious electrical problem. Additionally, you are required to give the dealership a reasonable chance to fix the problem.

This typically involves four repair attempts for the same defect or two attempts if it poses a safety risk. At least half of these attempts must occur within the first year of ownership or 24,000 miles. It’s crucial to note that you generally have 24 months from the original purchase date to file a claim under the state’s lemon law.

Taking action: What to do next

If you believe your “new” car is a used lemon, you should collect all paperwork related to the purchase, including:

  • The sales contract
  • Warranty information
  • Repair records

The next step is to contact the dealership to inform them of the problem and your attempts to have it repaired. Remember to clearly state your desire for a resolution under Texas’ lemon law.

Lemon law empowers you to seek a remedy when a dealership misrepresents a used car as new. By familiarizing yourself with your rights and seeking legal guidance, you can potentially hold a fraudulent dealership accountable and potentially receive a replacement vehicle, a full refund or a cash settlement.