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Research can help avoid purchasing a lemon

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2018 | Lemon Law

Buying a new car can be exciting. If it is a used car purchased from a West Virginia auto dealer, it may have low mileage and even the new car smell. These vehicles are typically polished and appear to be in mint condition. Despite looking like new, the new car could have a history of ongoing repairs that date back to the first time it was sold, fresh off the assembly line. Knowing what to look for before buying a vehicle can help determine if it’s a good deal or a potential problem.

Although many issues cannot be identified before the purchase, Consumer Reports recommends checking the reliability records that accompany vehicle profiles before making a purchase. These records can provide an overview of how specific models hold up over time, and the most often reported issues.

The Buyer’s Guide on the window is required by the FTC and must indicate if the vehicle has a warranty or if it is being sold “as is,” which means there is no guarantee regarding its condition. The responsibility for repairs lays entirely with the new owner. Checking the Technical Service Bulletins and Recalls issues by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can guide potential buyers by indicating that a particular model has a history of known problems.

According to FindLaw, West Virginia state lemon laws cover passenger vehicles purchased, registered and titled here, regardless of whether they are new or used. The following guidelines must be met for a car or truck to qualify as a lemon:

  • The vehicle must have a significant nonconformity that presents within a particular timeframe after the purchase.
  • The warranty on the vehicle must cover the nonconformity.
  • Despite reasonable attempts to repair the issue, the problem remains.

West Virginia has extensive consumer protection statues. Even though they are in effect to protect car buyers, the lemon laws can be complicated and are typically difficult for consumers to navigate.

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