It can be frustrating when the dealership can’t fix your car after several attempts, especially if it’s still under warranty. However, they are required to either repair the vehicle or provide you with a replacement. If they refuse to do either, there are legal options available you can take.
For example, you can try to seek reimbursement by filing for a lemon law claim. Lemon laws vary by state in the U.S.; however, they are all designed to protect consumers from defective vehicles.
If the issue is a safety concern or something that severely impacts the car’s use and performance, there is a greater cause to apply the lemon law. But, this doesn’t mean that more minor issues can’t qualify. It depends on the exact nature of the defect and the jurisdiction where you bought the vehicle. For this reason, seeking guidance from a well-qualified lemon law lawyer would be advisable.
Does it Seem Like the Dealer Just Doesn’t Care?
Does it seem like every time you bring in your car for another repair attempt, they don’t treat you the same? Do they seem annoyed or bothered?
While there is no excuse for poor service, dealerships don’t have much incentive to repair a vehicle under warranty. The vehicle manufacturer compensates the dealer for these repairs at a fixed rate, which generally doesn’t include labor costs. This means the dealer has to eat up the hourly costs for their technicians, regardless of how long the work took.
Another reason is that the lemon law doesn’t apply to dealerships. It applies to the manufacturers. So technically speaking, a Chevy dealership is not responsible for a malfunctioning Chevy car because they were not the ones who manufactured it. If you think of it this way, the dealership received a defective vehicle as well, which was passed on to you. Therefore, the ultimate culprit is the manufacturer.
So this explains why they brush you off to the side and do a poor job of correctly diagnosing the issue. Warranty repairs are just not profitable. Also, car dealerships are not subject to lemons laws. It’s the vehicle manufacturer that’s responsible.
What are the Options for the Consumer
First, it’s important that you keep documentation for everything; this includes keeping copies of your repair orders and notes about your communication. Document everything: who you spoke with, dates, and times of the day. All of this documentation will serve as evidence in case you need it.
If the dealer where you first took your car can’t fix it, you can always try another location. Perhaps the poor service happens to be with one dealer and not another. If this doesn’t pan out, we recommend taking the vehicle to an independent mechanic but not for repairs. Just take it in for an unbiased opinion and keep this documentation as well.
Other options can include taking up the issue with your state’s regulatory agencies or speaking with an attorney who can speak on your behalf. In most cases, lemon law attorneys don’t charge their clients unless they win a case. It also beats having to navigate the legal justice system on your own.
Therefore, while it can be incredibly frustrating to feel that no one wants to help with your defective car, there are options, including legal ones, that you can take.