Although buying a new car needs to be an enjoyable experience, sometimes it can go wrong. You can buy a new car and find out that it’s a dud that keeps breaking down and spending much more time in your mechanic’s garage than on the road. Nobody likes going to the mechanic regularly, especially when you have just purchased a new car. Nonetheless, when you reach a point where the repairs have become too much, you need to act. You have the right to reject the defective car and to seek a refund or to demand that the dealership buy back the dud. Below are the options you have if your new car has problems.
Determine If Your Car Is a Lemon
Just because your new car keeps breaking down doesn’t mean it’s a dud. To be categorized as one, the vehicle has to fail to meet the standards that the warranty covers. A lemon car is a vehicle with at least one manufacturing defect that significantly affects its functionality or that compromises your safety. Thus, if your mechanic constantly repairs your vehicle without making a lasting repair or without figuring out what’s the root cause of the issue, then you bought a lemon.
Pursue the Defect Under the Warranty
You can follow up on the issue under your warranty. A warranty indicates terms and conditions that determine each party’s obligations and outlines the process of filing a warranty claim, which usually involves taking your car to a dealership for diagnostic testing. After assessing the condition of your vehicle, your dealer gives you a written report describing your car’s problem and then submits it to the manufacturer for a warranty claim. If the manufacturer determines the fault is a defect, your vehicle will get repairs for free. If they fail to accept it as a defect, they’ll reject the claim and give you the reasons why.
Exercise Your Consumer Rights
While you can exercise your rights, you have to reach out to the dealer who sold you the vehicle. If you determine that your car is of unacceptable quality, not as described, or unfit for purpose within the first month, you can approach your dealer and ask for a replacement, refund, or buyback.
If you do this after 30 days, the seller can either repair or replace your vehicle. If you report a defect within the first six months, the law presumes that this fault existed even before you bought the car. However, if you file the claim after six months, you will have to prove the issue was present at the point of sale.
If the seller replaces or repairs the car but the problem persists or a new inherent fault develops, you can request an initial price reduction, which means you get some partial refund but still keep the car. Alternatively, you can reject the vehicle, which means that you return the vehicle and get your money back. However, the seller will deduct the usage, which is the mileage you have added to the car.
If you purchased the vehicle on finance, reach out to the finance company and inform it about your troubles. As a result, the financial institution will negotiate with the dealer. If the dealer connected you with the finance company, the finance company should give solutions to your problem as required by the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). This is specifically crucial if the dealer refuses to comply or has shut down operations.
Seek Legal Support
Although you can navigate through this legal process on your own, it’s crucial that you hire an attorney who will help speed up the process. Even though you can go to court or sue the seller without an attorney, having one will simplify the process. Remember that car dealers have more legal power than you, and their attorneys have received adequate training to handle such cases and have dealt with these issues before. Having an attorney, particularly when the dealer covers the costs, will help you get a fair reward for your troubles. In addition, this professional can tell you whether you have a strong case from the beginning.
If you notice your new car has persistent issues, report the problem as soon as you can. Ensure that you document each defect and repair. If given a chance to settle the problem, don’t rush to reject the car. However, if the dealer refuses to comply or becomes unhelpful, you can file a claim and hire a lawyer to help expedite the process.