What Is A Lemon Car?
A lemon car is a vehicle that has a defect or a series of defects that impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. In most states, a car is considered a lemon if the vehicle has a substantial defect that cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts by the manufacturer. The manufacturer must have been given sufficient opportunities to fix the vehicle, and the defect must have manifested within a specific period, usually within the first year of ownership.
What Is Iowa’s Lemon Law?
Iowa’s Lemon Law, formally known as the “Motor Vehicle Service Contract Act” (Iowa Code Chapter 322G), provides protection to consumers who purchase or lease new cars and other motor vehicles that do not conform to the manufacturer’s warranties. The Iowa Lemon Law coverage extends to any new vehicle, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and vans, bought or leased in Iowa. The law does not cover used vehicles or those with a gross weight over sixteen thousand pounds.
How Many Visits Does A Car Have To Make To The Repair Shop?
Under Iowa’s Lemon Law, a vehicle is considered a lemon if it meets any of the following criteria:
- The car has been in the repair shop for at least thirty accumulated business days following repairs.
- The car has been fixed four or more times for the same defect, or the defect is life-threatening or likely to cause serious injury or death.
- The car’s defect(s) significantly affect the safety or value of the vehicle, and the manufacturer has failed to repair the vehicle within one year of the owner receiving the car.
If one of these criteria is met, the owner of the car is entitled to a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price under the Iowa Lemon Law.
What Are The Owner’s Responsibilities Regarding Repairs?
Under Iowa’s Lemon Law, the owner is responsible for allowing the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle. If the owner fails to do so, the vehicle may not qualify as a lemon under the Iowa Lemon Law. The owner must also report the defect(s) to the manufacturer or its authorized dealer or agent in writing, preferably using certified mail, and include a request for repair or correction of the defect(s). The owner must allow the manufacturer the chance to repair or correct the defect(s) within a reasonable time period.
What If The Manufacturer Does Not Comply With The Law?
If the manufacturer fails to comply with Iowa’s Lemon Law, the aggrieved owner may file a lawsuit against the manufacturer to get a refund or replacement of their lemon car. The owner must prove that the vehicle meets the lemon car criteria under Iowa’s Lemon Law. If the owner wins the lawsuit, they are entitled to a refund of the full purchase price, including any sales tax, finance charges, registration fees, and other related costs, minus a reasonable allowance for the use of the vehicle or a comparable replacement vehicle.
Buying a lemon car can be a stressful and frustrating experience, but Iowa’s Lemon Law provides a safety net for consumers. It is essential to understand the Iowa Lemon Law criteria and an owner’s responsibilities to increase the chances of a successful legal claim. If you have a lemon car, you should consult an experienced Iowa Lemon Law attorney to guide you through the legal process.