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What is a lemon? It is a tasty yet sour fruit, and it is a defective motor vehicle. Like eating a lemon, purchasing a defective vehicle can leave a sour taste in your mouth. The federal government understands how buying a lemon (not the fruit) can affect your life and your bank account. As such, it has developed lemon laws on the federal level.

State laws addressing lemons also exist, and Virginia happens to have such a law. It’s known as the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Act. This law requires the manufacturer of the defective motor vehicle to replace the vehicle or to buy it back from you.

As you might expect, it can be a challenge to prove that your new motor vehicle is indeed a lemon. Your best chance of seeking a legal remedy based on the state’s lemon law is to consult with an attorney. This serves at least two major purposes. First, it helps you identify whether you have grounds to file a claim. Second, it helps you achieve your goal of getting compensation if you have grounds for a claim.

The most important burdens that you have as a victim of a defective motor vehicle purchase are showing that your vehicle contains a substantial defect and that you have attempted to have the defect repaired. The key word here is “substantial.” However, it may have more than one meaning in a lemon law claim.

For example, a defect that makes the car dangerous to you, its passengers and other motorists may certainly be deemed substantial, but what about a defect that impacts the vehicle’s value, such as a shoddy paint job? Because a bad paint job could affect the car’s resale value, it may be possible to use the lemon law to address this kind of defect as well. An experienced Lynchburg attorney can help you determine whether you have a lemon law claim.