I Returned A Leased Vehicle And The Dealer Claims There Is Excess Wear And Damage What Are My Rights And Responsibilities
Generally, excess wear and tear under New York lemon law is defined as anything beyond what is considered normal. Because this is vague and open to interpretation, auto leasing companies are legally required to specify what constitutes normal wear and tear in the lease agreement so it is recommended that one read the contract carefully.
This said, excess wear can include any of the following:
- damaged or tinted glass
- physical damage to the body, paint, lights, etc.
- missing equipment that was included with the vehicle
- wheels and/or tires in poor and unsafe condition
- interior damage
- mechanical damage that would result in unsafe and/or illegal operation
If the vehicle is returned at the end of the lease and there is excess wear and damage, the one who leased the vehicle can obtain an itemized estimate for repairs from a state-licensed appraiser. If it returned prior to the end of the lease, the leasing company must notify the lessor of their rights and responsibilities within 40 days of the return and may charge only the actual cost of repairs and replacement.
Further information is available through the Attorney Generals website.
Can I Return A Car If I Changed My Mind
In general, there are no federal laws that outline a return period following a vehicles purchase.
Unlike many retail markets, cars significantly lose their value simply by leaving the lot. But the immediate car depreciation plays a vital role in consumer protection laws surrounding auto sales.
The valuation of a car depends on whether it is considered new or used. The MSRP of a new vehicle at a dealership depends on manufacturer and dealer markups and other factors that influence a new cars price. Once a contract is signed and the new vehicle is registered to the buyer, it is no longer new. If dealers resell returned cars, they would have to sell them as used and most likely at a loss over a new model.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, federal law does not require dealers to provide car buyers the right to cancel a transaction. State laws may vary, but in general, they mirror federal requirements.
Where it exists, it may be the policy of individual dealerships to allow returns within a certain period after purchase, but it is not a legal obligation.
Car companies and dealers generally dont have this policy, which means drivers will almost always find themselves out of luck if they want to return a car like they might return a lamp or a sweater.
The bottom line: You cant return a car just because you changed your mind about it or because the salesman was pushy unless its written into the sales contract that you can.
Warranties & Lemon Laws
Buying a motor vehicle is a large expense for most people. If the car is defective, or a lemon, it can cause considerable financial and personal hardship. There are federal and state laws to protect consumers who buy such lemons. These are Lemon Laws. To recover under the lemon law, you must meet certain requirements. You also must follow particular steps. It is important to know your rights under these laws before you buy a new car or certain used cars.
All new cars come with a manufacturers express warranty included in the sales price. By law, the warranty must cover certain parts of the engine and transmission. It must also cover certain parts of the drive axle, brakes, steering, and ignition system. The dealer generally must repair any covered part during the warranty period. The dealer must give you a copy of the written warranty when you buy the car. If you buy a car from a private individual,the Lemon Laws will not apply.
New York has a Lemon Law for new cars and one for used cars. In general, to be covered under either law, you must be able to meet the following conditions:
- The car is primarily used for personal, family or household purposes.
If the car does not conform to the warranty, the manufacturer or its authorized dealer must repair it. They cannot charge you for the repairs. If they cannot repair the car within a reasonable number of attempts, you can request a full refund. You can also request a replacement car instead.
New York State Lemon Law Guide
1. Number of Repairs: The New York lemon law requires the same nonconformity, or condition has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its dealers within the first 18,000 miles of operation or two years following delivery. These issues arise.
A. Can you bring a claim beyond the mileage limits of the statute? The lemon law speaks of a presumption can you file a claim beyond the statutory limits but not use the presumption. You can file a claim on other grounds breach of warranty- without meeting the mileage limits.
B. What is the Same Problem? Four repairs of the same problems is required. Clever manufacturer will argue that a condition involves two or three different problems so that the same problems was not repaired four times.
2. Seriousness: The problem must substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.
3. Damages Permitted: The statute speaks of a repurchase. The statute is not clear about whether attorneys fees are recoverable in an attorney general arbitration. It appears that that other damages are not allowed such as loss of time from work, punitive damages, or mental injury. A consumer may choose to file a claim under other laws to assert those types of claims.
6. Forum: Many consumers utilize the attorney general arbitration forum. A consumer may also file a claim in court.
Typical Manufacturer Defenses Under the New York Lemon Law
You Have A Right To See The Written Warranty Before You Buy
Under a federal rule, retailers must let you read any written warranty for products costing more than $15. Based on what weve seen, some retailers or their sales staff either dont know the law or ignore it.
When Melodie Eisenberg of Decatur, Ga., went to Best Buy for a computer modem and asked to see the warranty, the salesperson acted like I was some nut job asking for something weird” and refused to open the box, she recalls. Eisenberg says the salesperson had first tried to sell her a service contract, presumably to supplement the unknown benefits of the warranty. When she complained to Best Buy headquarters, she was told that the employee was not allowed to open the package.
Best Buy provided us with a copy of its operating procedures, which say that stores must provide warranty information for products priced higher than $14.99. BestBuy.com provides an address and phone number that customers can use to obtain copies of manufacturer warranties. Amazon.com tells shoppers to contact the manufacturer for warranty information, although it might be available on some of its product pages.
What you should do. If a merchant wont show you the warranty even after you explain your rights, consider filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
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Is Your Vehicle A Lemon
Is your car in the shop, again? Are you always worried where youll be stuck when your car breaks down? Is that strange noise getting louder? Does your engine light keep coming on for no apparent reason? If these things keep happening, our New York Lemon Law Attorney can help you determine if you might have a lemon.
Trading In Or Selling Your Vehicle
Before you trade in or sell your old vehicle, be sure to remove the license plates and the windshield registration sticker, which shows your plate number. This will help prevent you from being charged with parking tickets that do not belong to you.
Turn in the plates to a motor vehicle office unless you are transferring them to a replacement vehicle. Always turn in your plates before you cancel liability insurance or before the insurance lapses. If you do not, your registration will be suspended, and your driver license could be suspended as well.
When transferring the vehicle’s title certificate to a new owner, you must fill out the appropriate odometer and damage disclosure statements, and sign your name at “Seller’s Signature.” Then enter the seller’s information on the sales tax form Statement of Transaction – Sale or Gift of Motor Vehicle, Trailer, All-Terrain Vehicle , Vessel , or Snowmobile , available at any motor vehicle office and the DMV internet site.
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How Are Used Vehicles Covered Under The New York Lemon Law
For coverage of used cars under the states lemon law, a certified pre-owned vehicle must meet five conditions:
- it was purchased, leased or transferred after 18,000 or two years of original delivery, whichever is earlier
- it was purchased or leased from a dealership in the state of New York
- the purchase price was no less than $1500
- it had no more than 100,000 miles on it at the time it was acquired
- it is used mainly for personal reasons
Arbitration Under New York Lemon Law
The New York State Dispute Resolution Association offers arbitration procedures for those dealing with lemon laws in New York. The organization says it provides an independent, efficient and fair forum to settle disputes for consumers whose new or used motor vehicles turn out to be lemons.
The arbitration process for lemons begins with an application by the consumer to request an arbitration proceeding from NYSDRA. The application will undergo the Attorney Generals review to be screened for eligibility. If it is determined it can move along, an administrator will request a filing fee from the consumer.
A hearing will be scheduled, and an arbitrator will be appointed for the case. A notice of the claim will be sent to the car dealer. The dealer is entitled to provide a response and the consumer can reply prior to the hearing. In addition, pre-hearing discovery will be conducted.
The hearing will then be held, and the arbitrator will issue a decision. Hearings typically take one to two hours and both the consumer and the dealer will have a chance to present their sides. The dealer and consumer will then have the opportunity to request a modification or to appeal the decision.
According to NYDRAs website, the fee for using its arbitration service is $250, but consumers who are successful will be awarded the filing fee, along with a full refund or comparable replacement.
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Does New York Have A Lemon Law
Every state has specific Lemon Laws that are designed to help consumers who have purchased a vehicle that is not in working condition or unsafe. In many cases, lemons are a result of manufacturing issues. You can find out if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon by reading the New York state lemon laws.
Does A Problem Always Need To Occur Three Times To Be Considered A Lemon
Not necessarily. If your car is in the shop 30 days or more within the 18,000 miles/24 month period, consecutive or not, we can file a claim under the NY Lemon Law.
Likewise, if you are experiencing paint problems, the same kind of problem , or if it is a significant problem that has occurred twice, we welcome you to submit your information for our consideration. We handle each case separately and we have made exceptions in the past.
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Does My Car Qualify
If your car meets the new car lemon law requirements, then you may be entitled to return your lemon car for a comparable car, which is not a lemon, or a refund of the purchase price less an allowance for use.
The New York Used Car lemon law applies to cars that cost more than $1,500.00 and have more than 18,000 miles but less than 100,000 miles at the time of purchase. If there is a defect in the car which continues to exist after 3 repair attempts or which causes the car to be out of service for 15 days, then you may qualify for relief under the New York used car lemon law.
The third lemon law is the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This federal lemon law applies to all goods, including cars, which are purchased with a written warranty. Under this lemon law, the warrantor is required to repair the car within a reasonable time to make it conform to the written warranty. Our New York lemon law attorney can help you determine whether your car meets the requirements of this lemon law.
The New York lemon laws are some of the most comprehensive in the country in that they apply to both new and used cars. Our New York lemon law attorney will review your potential claims free of charge. Additionally, if you have a claim under any of the above lemon laws, the manufacturer or dealer will pay the costs and attorneys fees involved in pursuing your lemon law claim.
Can You Return A Car You Just Bought
Buying a car is a life-changing decision, but what happens if you want to return a car you just purchased?
Once the vehicle gets purchased, returning the car gets complicated, especially if its a used car. Many drivers believe that theres a car return period after buying a vehicle when you can give it back for a full refund, as provided by law.
So is it true? Is there a car return period? We have the answer.
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New Car Lemon Law Q& a
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE NEW YORK NEW CAR LEMON LAW?
The New Car Lemon Law provides a legal remedy for buyers or lessees of new cars that turn out to be lemons. If your car does not conform to the terms of the written warranty and the manufacturer or its authorized dealer is unable to repair the car after a reasonable number of attempts during the first 18,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first, you may be entitled to a full refund or a comparable replacement car. A copy of the law may be found in the back of this booklet.
WHICH CARS ARE COVERED BY THE LEMON LAW?
The law covers both new and used cars, including demonstrators, which satisfy all of the following four conditions:
1. The car was covered by the manufacturer’s new car warranty at the time of original delivery and
2. The car was purchased, leased or transferred within the earlier of the first 18,000 miles or two years from the date of original delivery and
3. The car either: was purchased, leased or transferred in New York State, or is presently registered in New York State and
4. The car is primarily used for personal purposes.
Some examples of cars that may be covered by the new car lemon law are:
WHAT DOES THE PHRASE “PRIMARILY USED FOR PERSONAL PURPOSES” MEAN?
ARE MOTOR HOMES COVERED?
ARE MOTORCYCLES AND OFF-ROAD VEHICLES COVERED?
Effective September 1, 2004, motorcycles are covered vehicles. Off-road vehicles, such as snowmobiles, are not covered by the law.
HOW CAN YOU PROVE YOU OWN A LEMON?
The Written Warranty Is Not The Whole Story
Your rights go beyond what you read in a warranty booklet . Any written or spoken claim made by a manufacturer or retailerin a print or TV ad, on a package, or anywhere elsemay be considered an express warranty as well. For instance, TV and Web ads for a product called the Olde Brooklyn Lantern say that its LED bulb will last 100,000 hours. So even though OldeBrooklynLantern.com guarantees satisfaction for only 30 days, if those LEDs stop working before 100,000 hours , you might have the right to a repair, replacement, or refund.
What you should do. Keep copies of all performance promises, no matter where you find them. Try to get spoken claims in writing. Send an e-mail confirming the promise and keep the response.
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How Do I Choose A Lawyer
Consider the following:
- Comfort Level
- – Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your problem?
- – How long has the lawyer been in practice? Has the lawyer worked on other cases similar to yours?
- – How are the lawyer’s fees structured – hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
Pursuing A Ny Lemon Law Claim
Under NYS lemon law, you must notify the manufacturer of the problem with your vehicle after the third repair attempt or after the vehicle has been out of service for 15 days, and give the manufacturer the opportunity to fix it one last time. The demand letter should be sent by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. Heres a sample demand letter that you can adapt for your use. If your vehicle has had three or more repair attempts, the manufacturer has 10 days from the day it receives your letter to contact you and arrange an appointment for a final repair attempt.
Before you are eligible to file a Lemon Law claim in court, you must also participate in your vehicle manufacturers state-certified dispute resolution process . If you are offered a settlement through the arbitration process, you can decline the settlement and file suit.
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Does A Used Vehicle Qualify
The used vehicle portion of the Massachusetts Lemon Law covers both dealer sales and private party sales. The state defines used vehicles as any used car, van, truck or demonstration vehicle that:
- Is sold by a Massachusetts dealer or private party.
- Cost at least $700.* OR
- Has under 125,000 miles on the odometer at time of sale.*
Dealers are required to provide a warranty for up to 90 days and 3,750 miles. Basically, the dealer is required to repair any defect that impairs the use or safety of the vehicle during the warranty period, unless you caused the problems yourself through negligence or making a change to the car yourself .
The dealer can charge an initial $100 deductible for repairs or offer to buy back the car for the full purchase price instead of making repairs. The dealer may only charge the deductible if it is written in the warranty information.
Private party sellers are required to inform the buyer of any defects that could impair use or safety. If the buyer discovers a serious defect post-sale, and can prove the seller knew about the defect, the buyer may cancel the sale and request a full refund within the first 30 days after purchase.
*Applies only to dealer sales.