I purchased a new car 2 days ago and it broke down last night, do I have a legal claim to demand for a new replacement vehicle?

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I purchased a new car 2 days ago and it broke down last night, do I have a legal claim to demand for a new replacement vehicle?

The dealership wants to fix it only. This vehicle was driven only 50 miles and we had less than 2 days. It overheated and broke down. My feeling is that this is now a used vehicle and they need to replace with a new one as that is what I contracted for.

Asked on March 16, 2011 under General Practice, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Ok hold on.  It is really a new car?  Then you are afforded rights under your state's lemon law.  You should contact your state attorney general's office.  You do not want to categorize the car as "used" because then it will no qualify under the law. Here is what the law states:


The law applies to privately owned passenger vehicles and those leased after January 1, 2000, used for personal, family or household purposes.  Some business-type vehicles may also be covered.  The law does not apply to larger trucks, motor homes, motorcycles, or off-road vehicles.


A defective vehicle is one in which the same problem has not been repaired after four attempts, or a vehicle that is out of service 30 days or more for repairs.  The first report of the defect must be made within one year from the date of delivery to the original purchaser or lessee or during the term of the manufacturer's warranty, whichever period is shorter.


If the vehicle you purchase is defective, you may be entitled under state law to replacement of it or a refund of the cost of the lease.  To obtain replacement or refund, you must first report the defect in writing to the manufacturer and you may be required to first arbitrate the dispute.


In order to protect your rights under Michigan's Lemon Law, follow these steps:

  • Keep copies of all correspondence to and from the manufacturer and the dealer.
  • Keep copies of all work orders for repairs on the vehicle, including the date(s) the work was performed and the mileage on the vehicle at the time of the repair(s).
  • Follow all requirements of the warranty, including any requirement that the repairs must be done by an authorized dealer specified by the manufacturer.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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