Delaware Lemon Law
The lemon law in Delaware protects new-car buyers after discovering unrepairable defects in their vehicles. When a dealership or manufacturer sells you a bad car lemon law guidelines are the best way to move forward and handle the situation so you can get your money back.
The federal law sets basic rules for car owners who have been scammed so that they are not stuck with defective vehicles when the result is no fault of their own. Many drivers also choose to hire a lemon law attorney to help them properly follow the guidelines, so they do not make any mistakes that jeopardize the opportunity to get their money back, or seek suitable replacement vehicles.
What is the Lemon Law in Delaware?
The lemon law in Delaware states that a new car that has a nonconformity that cannot be fixed is classified as a lemon. The details of these laws may vary from state to state, but in Delaware, these laws require that a car be in new condition or leased in order for the vehicle to meet the lemon law definition. Under these laws, vehicles should meet certain criterion, which includes:
- Having purchased the car in new condition within one year.
- The demonstration of a significant deficiency. These defects must be extreme, and must affect the vehicle’s operation ability, such as the engine, brakes, transmission or other major areas in the car.
- That a mechanic must have attempted at least four repairs on the car to fix the problem.
- That the car must have been in the mechanic’s shop for at least 30 days.
The Delaware Department of Justice, Fraud and Consumer Protection Division enforces lemon laws in Delaware, and the laws cover all new vehicles, which includes buying cars and trucks. These laws also include nonconformities with the communicated warranty of the vehicle that jeopardize its safety, value or use. Motorcycles, motor homes and recreational vehicles are not eligible as lemons in Delaware.
Does the Delaware Lemon Law apply to used cars?
Used car lemon law is not available in the state of Delaware. Residents must follow used car laws that do not classify them as lemons. If you plan to buy a used car in Delaware, take the extra step to order a vehicle history report, which will help you learn of any glaring issues associated with the vehicle. In addition, inquire about your options for extended warranties, so you can ensure your own financial protection on a used vehicle investment.
How does the Lemon Law work in Delaware?
Vehicles are considered lemon cars in Delaware if, within one year of purchase, they present a defect that does not meet the warranty from the manufacturer, they meet the 30 day lemon law used cars requirement and there are at least four failed attempts to fix the problem on file.
To move forward and resolve the issue, drivers should recognize the DE lemon law and begin by reaching out to the vehicle manufacturer with a complaint letter that details:
- The problem(s) with the car.
- Copies of the work orders and invoices.
- A request for a lemon law buyback, a refund or another satisfactory solution.
If the manufacturer refuses to offer any assistance, Delaware drivers should consider hiring a lemon law attorney to defend their cases in search of proper compensation.
When your car is confirmed to be a lemon in the state of Delaware, the manufacturer has to offer one of two options: a replacement vehicle or a buyback of the lemon vehicle.
Most often, drivers will not need to use the state lemon law to work out issues with dealers, since they are required to protect customers under their DMV licenses. However, some manufacturers will be less willing to cooperate, so it is important that drivers understand their rights under the law, they do not believe they have no other options.
Drivers are entitled to select from the options mentioned above, which allow them to choose between getting a complete lemon law buyback refund from the manufacturer and receiving a replacement vehicle. Delaware residents can contact the Fraud and Consumer Protection Division to go through the lemon car law process and get their entitled returns. As proof of eligibility for federal lemon law use, it is important that drivers keep copies of records and documentation of their vehicles’ mechanic service histories that show proof of the defective statuses. Additionally, drivers should hold on to records of correspondence between themselves and the car manufacturers or dealers, which will come in handy if a lawsuit is necessary.
Delaware Lemon Law Lawyers
It is always a good idea to hire a lemon law attorney if you do not know how to go about requesting your defective vehicle be classified as a lemon, and to get your necessary compensation from the manufacturer. Lawyers for lemon law warranty issues are very knowledgeable in the field, and will know what the best steps are for you to take, along with how to create a strong and valid argument for your case. Before you begin working with an attorney, to prepare to get the best service for your case, be sure to:
- Conduct good research: It is important that you consult a selection of lemon car law lawyers before choosing one to represent your case. If you choose the first one you speak to, you might not get the best service for the money you spend.
- Make sure the attorney has past experience: Find a lawyer who has worked with these cases before, and has successfully defended them. Be sure to inquire about past, relevant cases and success rates.
- Find a local lawyer: Make sure you hire an attorney who thoroughly understands the Delaware lemon law, since these laws tend to vary from state to state.
- Compare fees and terms of payment: Before hiring a lawyer to defend your case, ask for service rate quotes. It is important that you can afford the cost of a lemon law attorney, and that you are not surprised by any hidden terms or fees later.
Drivers who are not well-versed in the law for lemon vehicles will often find that there are many great reasons to hire an attorney for representation. Lemon law attorneys are most often very good investments for drivers who can afford to hire them, especially when manufacturers make resolutions difficult, and do not want to comply legally. In addition to car owners who just do not want to worry about dealing with their car manufacturers, attorneys can help you resolve your car lemon law case by:
- Detailing your rights and options to you.
- Making sure the manufacturer obeys the law for lemons in Delaware.
- Ensuring you receive everything to which you are authorized.
- Handling the whole case, from beginning to the end.
- Dealing with all of the paperwork for you.
Additional New and Used Car Laws in Delaware
If a Delaware resident purchases a new car that is not eligible for the DE lemon law, he or she can still file a complaint under the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which protects buyers who purchase vehicles from sellers who make false or misleading claims about the state of a vehicle. Furthermore, a federal lemon law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects buyers who experience repeated defects with their vehicles, whether used or new, that cannot be fixed after two to three attempted repairs from a mechanic. These are both options for drivers who find that they purchased a used lemon car that cannot properly or safely operate.
How to Tell if Your New Car is a Lemon in Delaware
If you are not sure if your car qualifies for the Delaware lemon law, check and see if it meets the typical standards. These include the following:
- Your vehicle has an extensive nonconformity that appeared within a year after you got it
- Your vehicle’s nonconformity is covered by a warranty
- Your vehicle’s nonconformity cannot be repaired, after you tried getting it fixed multiples times
Delaware residents whose cars qualify for the new car lemon law should proceed with the next steps of the lemon law buyback or refund process. The 2018 car makes and models with the most lemon law complaints include the following:
- Mercedes-Benz B
- Chevrolet Volt
- Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Tesla Model S