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Consumer LAW PA Consumer LAW PA
  • Serving the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area
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Pennsylvania’s Lemon Law Is For New Cars, Too


The difficulties of knowing how reliable a used car is before you buy it are well known.  Plenty of nice-looking cars do not show their true colors until after you drive them away from the used car dealership.  Between the fine print on all the papers you are signing and the gleaming grins and friendly patter of the salespeople at the used car dealership, it is easy to forget all the questions you meant to ask before you sold the car.  Although stereotypes persist, the used car industry is not nearly as it was decades ago.  Thanks to the Internet, consumers can do more research before they buy a car, so they are better informed than car buyers of previous generations were.  Likewise, Pennsylvania and other states have enacted laws requiring more thorough disclosures about the history of cars being sold and protecting consumers from the risk of buying defective vehicles.  What most people don’t know is that Pennsylvania’s Lemon Law, which protects customers from having to pay for vehicle repairs related to problems that the consumer discovers shortly after purchasing the car, applies to new cars as well as used ones.  If you are involved in a dispute with a car dealer over repairs to a car you recently bought, contact a Pennsylvania consumer law attorney.

The Car Dealership Has a Responsibility to Repair Defects That Were Present When You Bought the Car

Pennsylvania’s Lemon Law applies to new cars with defects that become apparent in the first 12 months or 12,000 miles that the consumer drives the car, whichever happens first.  The car dealer has the responsibility to repair these problems.  If the problem recurs three times or persists after three repair attempts, the consumer has the right to return the car for a refund of the purchase price or to request a replacement car.  If the dealer does this, they have fulfilled their obligations.  You are only entitled to more money than this (the legal term for such compensation is “treble damages”) if there was malicious conduct or wanton negligence on the part of the dealer.

In 2012, Barbara bought a new Chrysler 200 from Autoland in Philadelphia.  Shortly after buying it, she noticed that the side panels and the molding between the doors were defective and that the paint job contained scratches and bubbles.  Between February and September of that year, she brought the car back to the dealership at least six times, and the dealer repaired the defects to the best of its ability, always at its own expense; the repairs would have cost more than $3,000 if Barbara had needed to pay for them.  She sued for treble damages, but the court refused to award them to her.

Contact Us Today for Help

A Philadelphia used car fraud attorney can help you resolve your dispute with a car dealership if you bought a new car and quickly discovered that it was defective, but the dealer refused to repair it.  Contact Louis S. Schwartz at to set up a free, confidential consultation.


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