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My new car doesn´t work, what do I do now?

Buying a new car is a rewarding experience. But the pleasurable feeling that comes with your acquisition can vanish the moment you hear the motor making strange noises. If your car has engine problems and is still within the warranty period (or no more than two years have passed since your purchase), you can ask for a replacement under Minnesota´s lemon law.

When repairs fail

The manufacturers must repair your failing motor. But sometimes repairs are not enough, in which case you might request a replacement vehicle or a full refund of the car´s purchase price.

There are three scenarios in which you could get your refund or replacement:

  1. You have taken your car for repairs more than four times, and the issues persist.
  2. While attempting to repair the vehicle, the braking or steering system is damaged or broken.
  3. The car has been out of service for more than 30 business days because of the repairs.

Additionally, the car´s damages need to be enough to impair the use of the vehicle. You will not get a refund or replacement if the problem is minor.

To get either form of compensation, you first need to write to the manufacturer stating the problems you have with your lemon car. You can draft the letter yourself, however, consulting an attorney at this stage may make sense. An experienced lemon law attorney can offer you appropriate advice on what to include in the letter to start the arbitration process for your refund or replacement the right way.

Refund or replacement?

If the manufacturer offers you a replacement, you can ask for a refund instead. The choice is up to you. Refunds include:

  • The total purchase price of the vehicle
  • The cost of specific options installed by the manufacturer
  • Sales or excise tax
  • License fees
  • Registration fees
  • Reimbursement for towing
  • Rental expenses

If you used your car significantly before the problems showed up, you may not get a full refund on the original purchase price. Instead, there will be a deduction of maximum 10 cents per mile or 10 percent off the original price, whichever is less.

Replacement refusals

Despite doing everything in your power according to the law, a manufacturer may still deny your claim. At that point, you have every right to take action and file a lawsuit against them with the help of a lawyer.