Lemon Vehicle 101: Key Signs You’ve Bought One and What to Do About It

A lemon vehicle is a vehicle that’s been found to have serious manufacturing defects, which makes them extremely dangerous. The manufacturing defects found in a lemon vehicle can lead to an accident. These defects can be any part of a vehicle such as brakes, steering, suspension, tires, and transmission. 

It is often hard to identify a lemon vehicle, especially if you bought it straight from a car manufacturer. To help you identify a lemon vehicle here are key signs that you should look out for and what to do about them. 

1. Loose steering

If you take the vehicle for a spin, you’ll soon notice that there’s something wrong with its steering. Lemon vehicles usually have loose or wobbly steering, which is a good sign that there’s something wrong with its alignment or steering fluid. Loose steering can also be a sign that the vehicle is already old and is on its last legs. 

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    All vehicles should have steering that’s responsive but also tight and controlled.
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    Loose steering is a sign of bad alignment and fluid problems, which can make a vehicle unreliable to drive.
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    If your vehicle’s steering is too loose, you should get it to a service mechanic to get the problem fixed quickly.

But if the issues persist after getting them fixed a couple of times, it’s safe to say that the vehicle you’ve bought is a lemon.

2. Stiff bumpers

Stiff bumpers are a good indication that there’s something wrong with your vehicle’s suspension. To find out if the suspension of your vehicle is good, push down the front and back bumpers of your vehicle. If the vehicle bounces up and down at least once or twice, it means that its suspension is good. 

But if you feel that the bumpers are stiff when you push them down, it could mean that the vehicle’s suspension is out of whack. Repairing the suspension of a vehicle is quite expensive. 

3. Strong smell

When checking out a vehicle, it’s important to use all your senses and not just rely on what you can see with your eyes alone. Use your sense of smell to look for signs of a lemon vehicle. 

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    Use your nose to sniff out any burning or leaking under the hood of the vehicle. It could be a smell of burnt oil or any weird smell that’s coming from under the hood of your vehicle.
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    If your vehicle is good, you won’t smell any weird scent coming from its hood. An unusual smell is a good indication that there’s something wrong and you must look at it more closely to find out what is causing the weird scent.

4. Uneven tire tread

The tires of a vehicle can pretty much tell the history of the car. If your vehicle was properly maintained, you won’t see any uneven tire treads on your wheels. 

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    If there are signs of wear and tear on the tires, it’s a good indication that they were changed or rotated before, which means that the vehicle may not have been properly maintained.
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    Uneven tire treads can also mean that the vehicle needs a front end alignment job, which can be really expensive.

5. Electrical problems

You should also check the vehicle for signs of electrical problems. If a vehicle’s electrical system is faulty, its headlights, tail lights, or turn signals might not be working. 

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    You can also check if the vehicle has a window and lock problems. If the windows don’t slide up or down properly, it could mean that there’s something wrong with the vehicle’s electrical system.
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    Lighting, window, and lock problems can worsen over time, so it’s important that you get these problems fixed right away before they develop into more serious vehicle problems.

6. Interior damage

A messy interior is a strong indication that the vehicle you’ve bought is a lemon. Wear and tear on the interior is expected in a used car. But if the interior damage is just way too much, it means that there’s something wrong with the car. Damaged seat belts, sagging brake and gas pedals, and ripped seat covers are among the important things you should look out for in a lemon vehicle. 

How to Get Resolution if You’ve Bought a Lemon

There are still many signs that will help you spot a lemon vehicle on your own. Once you’ve figured out that your vehicle is actually a lemon, you must do the following to help resolve your problem. 

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    Get in touch with car dealer or manufacturer and notify them about the lemon vehicle they sold to you. Let them know about the defects you’ve noticed and allow them to fix these problems for you.
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    If the problems still exist after getting your vehicle fixed couple of times, it’s time that you ask for a replacement or a refund for the lemon vehicle under the lemon law.

Most lemon vehicles are fixable. It’s important to contact the car manufacturer immediately if you notice one or all the signs mentioned above of a lemon vehicle. Your vehicle’s warranty should allow you to get a free repair from the car manufacturer.

There are, however, some cases where a lemon vehicle doesn’t get fixed at all, even after several repair attempts. When that time comes, you’ll need to ask for a replacement or a refund for the lemon vehicle you’ve bought. The lemon law will protect your rights as a consumer from a defective vehicle. To learn how to get a replacement or refund under the lemon law, just click here.

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