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Sunday

Tricks manufacturers try to use to beat your lemon law claim

So you think you have a lemon car or lemon truck and the manufacturer won't fight you? Think again.

Manufacturers hate to buy back lemon motor vehicles. In Kentucky. Everywhere. Why? Because they lose money. They lose it when they take back a lemon and give you a refund. They lose it when they take back a lemon and give you a new car. They lose it when the have to repair your old lemon before they can resell it. They lose money because they have to give a new warranty on your old lemon when the sell it. And, most of all, they lose money when they resell it because the have to disclose the defects and the fact that it was bought back because they couldn't get it fixed.

Manufacturers hate buying back a lemon in Kentucky - or anywhere else.

So what are the most common arguments they will bring up to try to beat your Kentucky Lemon Law claim? Here are a few to be prepared for.

"We didn't get a fair chance to fix it," they'll say. Technically it's called "insufficient opportunity to repair" but it means the same thing. Basically they are saying that they didn't know you were in the shop with complaints. And this is the very reson that you want to make sure you never leave the repair shop without getting a repair order from the dealer that proves you were there and what you were there for - and make sure the "date in" and "date out" are correctly written down too.

"They didn't tell us they wanted to file for lemon law." While it's really no excuse for sloppy repair practices, this argument is technically called "inadequate notice to the manufacturer." What it means is that before filing for your lemon law claim, you did not send a certified mail complaint letter to the manufacturer. Well, you don't have to. It is not required by the federal lemon law (which also covers lemon motor vehicles in Kentucky), and it isn't required by the Kentucky Lemon Law either. Still, you may want to send them the Kentucky Lemon Law notice letter. If you do, then you should make it short and simple. Tell them that you think you have a lemon and why - and what you want them to do too. The letter should be sent by certified mail "return receipt requested" so that you can prove they got it. There's a handy and easy to use complaint letter generator that is posted on this web site - click here.

"It's not a substantial impairment." Basically, the manufacturer is trying to trivialize your defects when they say this. You need to be able to prove that the defects you experienced substantially affected the use, safety or market value of your vehicle. In other words, you have to prove that the defects were, in fact, a big deal. Show how it interfered with you daily use of the vehicle, show how it made the vehicle unsafe, or show how your vehicle was worth substantially less because of the defects.

While value can be subjective, a good way to tell what the value is can be found by asking your Kentucky car dealer - before you file for the lemon law. In short, go to the used car manager and tell them that you are fed up with your lemon and you want to just sell it outright but you want them to know of all the defects so they don't try to come back on you later. Then tell them every single defect, every time you were in the shop, show them all the repair paperwork there is, tell them what you found out about your model vehicle on the internet from other owners who have had the same trouble with the car or truck in Kentucky or elsewhere. And when you are finished making sure they know just what a piece of junk your car is, then ask them what they will offer you for it. If you tell the facts right, the dealer won't even want to buy it. And when that happens, a zero dollar offer is proof of substantial impairment.

"Sure, it had defects, but now they won't let us fix it." That's no excuse. Under the Kentucky Lemon motor vehicle law, the manufacturer does NOT get any extra chances to fix your lemon after they get your lemon law notice letter. You can be sure they will ask for it though. Just be aware that if you let them try again to fix it, and they actually do get it fixed, then the next thing they will say is "we fixed it" and guess what? Your Kentucky Lemon Law rights go right down the drain - don't take a chance.

These are some of the most frequent manufacturer tricks that they use to try to avoiod being forced to buy back your lemon car or lemon truck in Kentucky. Don't be fooled and don't be tricked.

If you've got a lemon car or lemon truck in Kentucky, don't take a chance. Call us on our Toll Free Kentucky Lemon Law Hotline, 1.888.331.6422 for free lemon law help. Or email us right now for a free case review - click here.

And remember - if you've got a lemon and your dealer won't take care of you, call us. Getting rid of lemons, and getting your money back, is what we do. But don't wait too long because your rights can run out on you and you could get stuck with your lemon if you don't act fast!

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