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How does a vehicle earn the title of “lemon”?

Approximately 150,000 vehicles sold every year are “lemons,” a number that includes 1% of new cars.

The vehicle you purchased may have an unfixable problem, thus earning the title. What are the common issues that lead to this unfortunate situation?

Design and  production issues

A design flaw is one of the main reasons for a vehicle to become a lemon. Designers look for ways to improve performance, reduce weight or increase cabin space. Unfortunately, too much innovation can cause problems. Used cars can also come with substantial defects. These are problems such as faulty brakes or loose steering that can result in operational safety. Used car warranties usually cover these recurring issues. In terms of mass production, parts are not always made to exacting tolerances or the metal used in the manufacturing process is not of the best quality.

Reasonable repairs

Through the dealer, a vehicle owner must make a reasonable number of attempts to repair a problem before the vehicle can officially earn the title of lemon:

  • If the issue is of a serious nature, the problem must remain after one attempt at repair
  • If the issue is not serious, it must remain after three or four repair attempts
  • If the vehicle remains in the shop for repairs for an extended period, usually at least 30 days, it can qualify as a lemon

Lemon law complaint

If you suspect you purchased a lemon, hold on to all repair estimates, invoices and work orders. These will be helpful to an advocate who can pursue justice on your behalf under existing lemon laws in the state of Minnesota. You made a significant purchase in your vehicle and have the right to expect the best outcome for your case.