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Verified Car Problems??

Do Car Problems Need to Be Verified on Each Repair Visit under the Lemon Law?

Consumers often experience intermittent problems with their vehicles. One day the problems are there, but by the time they take their vehicles in for repair, the problems are no longer noticeable. If the problems are not noticeable when repairs are attempted, the dealers will write in the repair orders that the defects can’t be verified. Do unverified problems still count under state lemon laws? 

While every state is different, a defect usually does not have to be verified every time you take your vehicle in for repair.   Many state lemon laws require consumers to present their vehicles for repair and do not necessarily require that repairs actually be performed.  These laws use language like “repair attempt” or “subject to repair,” suggesting that duplication of a problem is not required.  Therefore, repair visits when a mechanic reports “no problem found” still may count as repair attempts under the lemon law.

Such an interpretation of the lemon law makes sense because many automobile problems are intermittent.  Further, the repair efforts undertaken by a dealer/manufacturer are beyond the control of consumers.  If duplication of a problem were required, dealers/manufacturers could always say they couldn’t duplicate the problem to try to prevent consumers from obtaining a remedy under the lemon law.  Therefore, requiring duplication could give dealers/manufacturers a disincentive to verify automobile defects.  

Nonetheless, it is difficult to pursue a claim under the lemon law if a problem has never been verified.  While you could still argue that the dealer or manufacturer failed to adequately diagnose the problem, you would face an uphill battle in attempting to show that a vehicle is defective if the problem has never been verified by a mechanic.

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