The North Carolina Lemon Law is a consumer protection law enacted
to provide recourse after having purchased a defective vehicle.
The North Carolina Lemon Law is similar to lemon laws in other states,
though there are some notable differences as well.
As with other lemon laws, it is required that automobile manufacturers
repurchase or replace a vehicle that has not been properly repaired
within a "reasonable number of attempts". In North Carolina,
this reasonable number is four attempts or if the car has been out
of service waiting repair for a cumulative total of 20 or more business
days during any 12-month period of the warranty.
The North Carolina Lemon Law gives relief to those who either buy
or lease a vehicle that has a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less.
The North Carolina Lemon Law covers cars, trucks, motorcycles and
most vans. It does not cover, however, house trailers. The North
Carolina Lemon Law covers any kinds of defects that impair the value,
use or safety of the vehicle to the consumer. The defects do not
have affect the drivability of the car but could be problems such
as defective paint, heating system or excessive noise.
It is important to read the warranty book that came with the new
or leased vehicle carefully. The warranty will tell you what is
covered and for how long. When you bought or leased your vehicle
from the dealer, you probably signed a lot of paperwork. It is
important to read your copies of this paperwork very carefully
to find out if the manufacturer wants you to waive your rights
to a trial by jury in the case of problems and settle through
arbitration instead. Arbitration is usually not in the best interest
of the consumer in Lemon Law cases, so make sure you know what
your rights are before you buy or lease.
Keeping Records ...
Once you have purchased or leased a new vehicle that needs to be
taken in for repairs, it is important that you start keeping records
at this point, in case they are needed later. When taking your vehicle
in to an authorized dealer for repairs, keep a detailed list of
what needs to be repaired for yourself along with the dealer. Get
repair orders for your vehicle and make sure they state all repairs
and how long your vehicle was in the shop including dates and mileage.
The North Carolina Lemon Law requires the consumer to notify the
manufacturer and finance company in writing of defects once a car
has been out of service for 15 business days or has been sent in
for repair for the same defect three times. This is extremely important.
Without written notification to the manufacturer, you will not have
a claim. Keep copies of all correspondence with the manufacturer
and finance company. The best defense in a lemon law case is accurate
facts and information in the form of records.
With the right help you can make lemonade
out of a lemon.
If you're not required to go to arbitration and you're still not
satisfied with the repairs or resolution of your case, seek out
a North Carolina Lemon Law attorney. North Carolina Lemon Law lawyers
usually offer a free consultation for such cases.
Remember, that you can recover triple damages and attorney fees
from the manufacturer if the manufacturer is found by the court
to have unreasonably refused to resolve the case. So, this is something
they will most likely want to avoid.
The North Carolina Lemon Law has been enacted to protect you, the
consumer. Remember, in North Carolina, you do have recourse. You
don't have to try and make lemonade out of your lemon. Contacting
a lawyer versed in the Lemon Law would be a good first step on the
road to consumer satisfaction.
Most lemon law lawyers offer free consultations, so why not take
advantage of this service while you're already feeling taken advantage
of? It could be just what you need at this point. And with kind
of relief comes peace of mind.