Have you purchased a defective product? You may have a lemon in your hands. If that’s the case, you may be entitled to a replacement or refund, depending on your situation.
A lemon, or a defective product, is a vehicle or consumer good that doesn’t meet expectations set and promises made by a vendor or manufacturer. In this scenario, lemon laws protect you, the consumer, from being on the losing side of this deal.
In this article, we’ll explain what lemon laws are, how they work, and why they exist.
What is the lemon law?
Lemon laws are protection laws that exist to protect consumers in the event of purchasing defective products.
There are different lemon laws throughout the country, so your experience with this legal norm will vary on a state-to-state basis. Nevertheless, in most cases, lemon laws are similar. For example, a quick look at a California lemon law guide shows you need a warranty to qualify, something found in most (if not all) lemon laws.
Nevertheless, the main gist of a lemon law is the same throughout: a manufacturer must replace the product or refund the money if he cannot repair a vehicle or consumer good when a product’s defects are substantial.
Lemon laws cover a wide range of goods, including used and leased cars. Talk to your attorney to see if your purchase falls under this law.
How does the lemon law work?
You will know if your product qualifies as a lemon under 90 days. In rare cases, it may take longer. When (or if) that happens, you’re entitled to a replacement or refund that includes:
- Down payments
- Monthly payments
- Registration costs
It’s important to note you may not receive a full refund because the manufacturer is entitled to deduct certain fees, such as a usage fee based on mileage. As you can probably guess, lemon law is not set in stone and varies on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, you will get due compensation if your product is deemed a lemon.
Why does the lemon law exist?
This law exists to protect consumers from unethical manufacturers and vendors. In other words, the government has to help the little guy when he faces predatory behavior from third parties.
At the same time, this kind of legislation helps the country have a healthier economy: the government has to step in and prevent people from taking advantage of consumers and negatively affecting commerce.
This law’s objective is pretty straightforward: helping consumers get their money’s worth every time they purchase something.