An awful lot of consumers end up with cars they call lemons, but actually just have a problem that can (and should) be fixed by the dealer. But anyone who really has a lemon can use all the help they can get under the state lemon law, and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation has made it easier to figure out who qualifies.
A new online tool being offered by Consumer Affairs is intended to help those who recently bought (or leased) a vehicle (new or used) that doesn't work right. If the car qualifies under the lemon law, a replacement or refund must be provided.
“This new service will help to mitigate the frustration of consumers who have been disappointed by a recently purchased vehicle,” Consumer Affairs chief Barbara Anthony said. “Motorists will be able to more easily collect the benefits and protections guaranteed to them by state lemon laws. Clarity and simplicity are the keys to helping consumers put the law to work for them.”
A simple set of questions vital to determining whether a car is a lemon is presented to consumers: Whether the vehicle is new or used, its mileage, how long since it was purchased, what the vehicle's main use is... If the answers meet the criteria, the user will be directed to the application to file a formal lemon law complaint.
Lemon law complaints have been among the top five complaints the state has received over the past four years. Using the new application is not necessary, but is intended to help guide those who believe they might have a lemon.
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About the author
Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com