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Your Patience Can Kill Your Lemon Law Rights so be careful out there

We just finished a case review that reminded us that being patient and tolerant when it comes to a bad car - just doesn't pay. In fact, it can kill your lemon law rights.

Don't lose your Lemon Law rights
A very nice Ford owner in Lexington finally reached a pitch of frustration and asked for our Free Lemon Law Case Review. Her defects were real, and she complained to the dealer, but they just never got fixed. And now, she's stuck because she was too patient and tolerant of the dealer's service manager's very courteous and very polite stall-and-delay tactics.

Her time to file a lemon law case ran out on her while she was giving the dealer the benefit of the doubt. And now the factory won't do anything for her at all.

The moral of the story is sad but oh so true. The dealer is not on your side and the factory is only going to care about your paper trail of proof. If your repair orders don't prove you were in the shop complaining about the same thing repeatedly, then as far as the factory is concerned - it didn't happen. You lose.

If this were baseball, someone would be calling a foul.

Here's what you have to do.

First, know your lemon law rights. Without that knowledge, you are flying blind. Like the Lexington lady, the dealer and the factory can string you along and take advantage of your patience and the next thing you know - you're stuck. And that, folks, ain't no accident.

In Kentucky, if you had the same problem worked on 4 or more times without the dealer fixing it, you've got a lemon. But that's not all.

In Kentucky, if the same defect kept your vehicle out of service for a total of 30 or more days, you've got a lemon. But that's not all.

You can use either of those lemon car or lemon truck definitions, but your repair trips to the shop MUST all occur during the first year and within the first 12,000 miles of driving. It's a short leash you're on - so don't take a chance.

 If you've got a defect, get your car or truck back to the shop right away. And if they don't fix it the first time, return it to the shop again - but not on the same day. Remember that you have to be able to PROVE it was a separate repair trip.

If you go back the same day, the dealer will just write it on the same repair order and it will look like you were only there once. That's what they did to the Lexington car owner - so they'll do it to you too if you aren't careful.

And when you go back, use the exact same words to describe your problem as you used the first time you were there. Remember that it has to be the same defect. If the dealer writes it up differently than the first time you were in the shop, then the factory will treat it as a new defect.

And don't put up with the infamous excuse "no problem found" from your dealer. Same goes for "operating as designed." Those are just excuses for "we have no idea what's wrong and don't have time to look for it."

Why would a dealer say that if the problem is real? Simple.

The manufacturers do not pay their dealers to "try" to find a defect - they pay them to do an actual repair. And then they pay them at a discounted labor rate - they don't even pay the full hourly labor rate to their own dealers. The result?

Your dealer has a chance to do a paying repair job at the full hourly labor rate on a car that is not in their shop for warranty work - or they can spend their time working for free trying to figure out what's wrong with your new car and maybe not get paid a dime for their effort. Let's see ... work for free? or get paid for it? Gee, do you wonder which one they'll choose?

Don't let the service manager's smiling face fool you. They could be smiling because they have no clue what's wrong and their smile is all they've got to work with.

Who's looking out for you? No one is going to look out for you in the dealer's service department - no one but you yourself.

If you've got a lemon, don't take a chance. And when all else fails, call us on our Toll Free Ky Lemon Law Hotline at 1.888.331.6422 or email us right now (click here). Getting rid of lemons is what we do. Everyday.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon