Purchasing a reliable used vehicle can be a difficult and time-consuming process. For the buyer who is charged with the responsibility of choosing an automobile that will not stop running the second the keys are handed over, there exist regulations that are designed to protect the consumer from purchasing a vehicle that has not been properly assessed for substantial defect. Florida’s Lemon Law outlines the regulations regarding the sale of used vehicles and the proper measures that must be taken before a vehicle is sold.
Reporting Vehicle Problems
Under the Florida Lemon Law, defects and/or serious impairments in a vehicle must be reported to the automobile manufacturer or dealer during the first 24 months following the sale of the vehicle to a consumer. Any failure to report and conform to the vehicle’s warranty, the consumer has the right under this law to return the vehicle to the seller for a full refund of the cost of the car or a replacement vehicle at equal value to the original purchase.
In general, when a consumer purchases an automobile, there is a justifiable assumption that the vehicle will be operational, minus a few minor repairs and general maintenance. When a consumer is subsequently left owning a vehicle that is inoperable or requiring substantial repairs in order to be drivable, the seller has a responsibility to the consumer to rectify the situation and honor the sale specifications.
Prompt reporting of any defect or covert damage to the vehicle is essential in matters pertaining to Florida’s Lemon Law. The sooner a consumer completes a motor vehicle defect notification form, the quicker the response to and rectification of the problem. Once the notification form has been submitted, the manufacturer or authorized seller has ten days to provide the consumer with an appropriate repair plan in order to fix the vehicle’s defect.
Keep Vehicle Records
One of the biggest mistakes consumers tend to make when dealing with a defective vehicle is not keeping accurate records and receipts of estimates and repairs regarding the vehicle. Receipts are necessary to evaluate the true cost and determining the type of defect or impairment the vehicle has.
In the event that the vehicle is unable to be repaired, or the repair time has exceeded 30 days, the consumer may be able to request a refund or replacement vehicle. While the process of purchasing a vehicle can lead to defect or repair issues for the consumer, the Florida Lemon Law provides the proper recourse in the event that the consumer is left holding the keys to an inoperable vehicle.