Can I return a lemon if I have had it for undera month and get my trade-in back?

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2010

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Can I return a lemon if I have had it for undera month and get my trade-in back?

My husband purchased a used vehicle car. We had it 1 day and the front and back ends started vibrating so badly, that we were afraid to drive it and took it back 2 days later “due to work schedule”. The tire was exchanged “with a different brand” and the vibrations were not as bad. However, “they did not cease” which is what we were told would happen. Also, there seems to be issues with the computer, the flat tire and bad break warnings came on after he got it home on the first day as well, and will not go off. Our dealer is “working with another dealership” to coordinate getting this fixed. Finally, the speakers have a lot of static due to the intense shaking of the car, “we are afraid to drive over 40 mph”. My husband used/traded our late model truck as the down payment and after 5 trips and no real repair, to include leaving the car over night on 2 separate occasions, “with a loaner” that was just as bad as this vehicle that I’m telling you about now. It’s been 3 weeks and we just don’t want this deal anymore. We have spent “time and money” that we do not have.

Asked on September 9, 2010 under General Practice, Georgia


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Lemon laws vary from state to state. Some states allow for all vehicles sold by dealerships to be covered, while others only limit to new vehicle purchases only or both new vehicle purchase and new vehicle leases.  Georgia is such a state.  It allows lemon law arbitration through the state's consumer protection division of the Office of the Governor but only for new vehicle purchases and new vehicle leases.  Your state's lemon law does not cover used vehicle purchases.  Most used vehicles purchases are considered purchases that are "as is", which means that you purchased it without warranty and without any recourse.  Dealer laws in your state may require such used vehicle dealerships to have a minimum amount of warranty including something to the effect of being safe to drive (i.e,, it must pass inspection).  It sounds you may need to call the agencies who regulate car dealerships in your state, especially if you purchased it through financing.  File a complaint and see if that can help you obtain the results you seek.  Otherwise your recourse may be to sue for the monies you are out.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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