I Bought a Lemon Car – Now What?

6 mins read

So you just drove your shiny new car off the lot, filled with excitement. But within days – or even hours – warning lights flash, the engine sputters, and your exhilaration turns to annoyance. Could you have purchased a lemon?

In Mississippi, we have protections for buyers of defective vehicles. Our lemon laws help ensure manufacturers stand behind their products when cars fail to operate as expected. But what qualifies a car as a “lemon” and what should you do if you bought one? This article breaks it down.

What Constitutes a Lemon Car in Mississippi?

Mississippi’s lemon law helps protect consumers who buy or lease new motor vehicles that turn out defective. For a car to qualify as a lemon, it must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The vehicle has a substantial defect that impairs its use, value, or safety
  • The defect arises under the manufacturer’s written warranty
  • The defect exists within the first year or 12,000 miles of ownership, whichever comes first
  • The manufacturer or authorized dealer has made one or more attempts to fix the defect under warranty, but it still exists

If your new car meets these lemon law criteria in Mississippi, you may qualify for a replacement vehicle or buyback refund.

Gather Documentation on Your Lemon Vehicle

Before taking legal action under Mississippi’s lemon law or the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, compile documentation showing evidence of your vehicle’s persistent defects. Important records include:

  • Repair orders from the dealership showing multiple attempts to fix the same problem
  • Written notes detailing conversations with manufacturer reps
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Make, model, year, and mileage
  • Purchase or lease paperwork

Thorough documentation helps demonstrate that you gave the manufacturer reasonable chances to fix your lemon.

Send a Demand Letter Invoking Lemon Laws

The next step is to send a certified letter to the manufacturer explaining how your vehicle qualifies as a lemon. Be sure to include key details like:

  • Description of the defect(s)
  • Number of repair attempts
  • Days out of service
  • Request for a refund or replacement vehicle

Politely demand action under Mississippi lemon laws or the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. An experienced lemon law attorney can draft this type of letter to compel the best outcome.

Your Rights Under Lemon Laws

When an automobile defect causes persistent impairment or danger, lemon laws grant consumer rights many buyers don’t realize they have.

If your faulty car meets lemon law criteria in Mississippi, two primary options exist:

Manufacturer Buyback

Because attempts to fix your vehicle failed, the law requires its manufacturer to essentially “undo” the sale. Through buyback, the company must:

  • Repurchase your car for the full purchase price
  • Reimburse official fees from the original sale like taxes and registration
  • Pay incidental expenses incurred because of the defect

They then take possession of the faulty lemon vehicle.

Replacement Vehicle

Rather than refunding your money, manufacturers can provide a new vehicle of the same make and model. The replacement car should be acceptable to you regarding mileage, features, etc.

Arbitration through the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission may help compel the manufacturer to comply if buyback or replacement is refused initially.

And our qualified lemon law attorneys can take legal action or negotiate with manufacturers on your behalf if needed. We have helped countless clients exercise their rights to rectify purchasing a defective car.

The Buyback Process

If filing a Mississippi lemon law claim against a manufacturer, understand that buybacks involve somewhat lengthy legal procedures in most cases. Here is a general timeline:

  • 3-5 months: Gather documentation, attempt repair, send demand letter
  • 2 months: Await response, enter negotiations if offered
  • 2 months: Vehicle inspection, paperwork filed for arbitration
  • 1-2 months: State-run arbitration process
  • 1 month: Receive settlement check/replacement car

However, complex cases with uncooperative manufacturers can extend the timeline further through litigation.

Don’t Get Stuck with a Sour New Car – Mississippi Lemon Laws Can Help

Buying a defective vehicle can quickly transform an exciting purchase into a miserable experience. But Mississippi’s lemon law provides important consumer protections if your new car turns out to be a lemon. Compiling evidence of recurring defects soon after purchase is key.

At the Ware Law Firm in Magee, our experienced lemon law attorneys offer compassionate counsel for clients stuck with lemon vehicles. We’ll evaluate your situation at no charge, answer all questions, and discuss options for getting your money back or having the manufacturer replace your car under lemon laws. Located in the Magnolia State for over two decades, our sole focus is protecting consumer rights through ethical legal representation, sound advice, and dedicated advocacy.

Don’t let a lemon vehicle spoil your finances. The Ware Law Firm stands ready to take on automakers and demand the compensation you deserve as a wronged new car buyer. Call today at (601) 440-2448 or connect through our website contact form to arrange your free case review.

Have a lemon? The Ware Law Firm can help get to the bottom of it.

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