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Recognizing what makes a vehicle a lemon

Although most states have their own versions of lemon laws, it doesn’t stop some disreputable car dealers from selling vehicles that come with problems. Virginia residents should educate themselves on lemon laws, as well as how to check if a car might be a lemon before buying it. This can save them a great deal of hassle, as well as protect them from injury.

What exactly is a lemon? According to Esurance, the problems that define whether a car is a lemon include serious defects that impact a vehicle’s safety, value or usefulness. Minor problems or inconveniences, like a faulty air conditioner or window opener, wouldn’t necessarily count.

Consumer Reports lists numerous steps potential car buyers can take to determine if the vehicle they are considering might be a lemon:

  • Check the Consumer Reports website for the reliability and safety record of the make and model, as well as information on recalls and injuries.
  • Obtain a vehicle history report from Experian Automotive or CarFax.
  • Have the car inspected by a mechanic.
  • Conduct a thorough inspection of the car’s interior and exterior.

It is important to be informed when making a purchase that can end up affecting a family’s safety. However, it is not always possible to detect problems that make a car a lemon. When a buyer suspects the vehicle he or she purchased might be a lemon, it may be necessary to seek legal advice, since lemon laws can be complex and auto sellers may not always act in the best interests of the buyer.

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Madigan and Scott, Inc.
7880 Backlick Road
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Springfield, VA 22150

Phone: 703-455-1800
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