Louisiana Lemon Laws: A Guide for Car Buyers

By Seomul Evans

Despite the fact that automobiles have greatly advanced these days in terms of construction and technology, a lemon still comes out every now and then. A lemon is a vehicle with serious irreparable defects that are considered manufacturer defects. In Louisiana, there are certain laws that aim to protect consumers from problems similar to this. So, if you live in the Louisiana area, you would want to familiarize yourself with these laws so that you'll know what to do in case you accidentally buy a lemon.

Things to Do in Case You Have a Lemon

Under the Louisiana lemon laws, there are certain stages that you need to go through should you find that your vehicle is a lemon. First, if after several failed attempts to repair the car the problem still persists, you need to get in touch with the dealer or manufacturer to inform them of the problem. You must have all receipts as proof of previous repairs done - these will be needed during the settlement. Under the law, you have to give the manufacturer one last chance to solve the problem or repair the car. If, the car is not yet repaired during that last chance, the manufacturer should refund your money or provide you with a replacement car.

You will need to pass through a so-called arbitration process to reach a settlement with the car manufacturer. If, however, no settlement is reached during that process, you can bring the case in court.

Refund or Replacement?

Under the Louisiana lemon laws, there are two things a manufacturer can compensate you for the problem, damage, and hassles brought by the lemon vehicle you have accidentally bought: a refund or a replacement car. You have to remember, though, that the decision is up to you. Refund is actually the immediate solution specified, but there are instances when the manufacturer will offer a replacement car instead. You may or you may not accept that replacement - it will be up to you.

Your Rights as a Consumer When You Find Your Car is a Lemon

Other than the mentioned recourse to be taken by car manufacturers during cases of lemon, you have other rights as a consumer under the Louisiana lemon laws. What are these?

First and foremost, it's a given that the repairs will be covered by the manufacturer while the vehicle is still under warranty. But, if the warranty expires, you will be the one to cover the repairs. But, should you find later on that the car is indeed a lemon, you have the right to ask for a refund for the repairs that you paid after your car becomes out of warranty.

One other right that you have as a consumer is the right to rent a car while your car is in for repair. And, the manufacturer will refund the amount you paid for up to $20 everyday.

Lastly, if you don't reach a settlement and you bring your case to court, and the court rules afterwards that the car is indeed a lemon, the manufacturer will pay for your attorney's fees and all of your other fees pertinent to the court proceedings.

When you buy a car, you take a chance or a risk. But, as a consumer, it's good to know that there are certain laws such as the Louisiana lemon laws, which protect you in case you have the unfortunate instance to purchase a lemon.

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