Hugh J. M. Jones, III, P.C. Hugh J. M. Jones, III, P.C.

One of the reasons that many of us purchase a new vehicle is so we don't have to face a lot of the headaches such as costly car repairs that often come with owning a used one. What many don't realize is that new cars aren't always problem-free. Newer vehicles are often subject to recalls. There may even be a bad one in the bunch. Fortunately, Virginia has laws on the books to protect those who purchase one of these "lemon" cars.

Virginia's "Lemon Law," which is formally known as the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, remains in effect from the time a new car is purchased by a consumer up until their 18th month of ownership. It may even apply in rare instances to used vehicles, especially if a new car was sold to a secondary owner within 18 months of its purchase.

A car is considered to be a lemon if you've attempted to make repairs for the same issue at least three times yet it still isn't fixed. State lawmakers also consider any vehicle that has been out of service to you for more than 30 days in a single year to be a lemon.

As a Lynchburg consumer, you have a right to file a claim with the Consumer Protection Section of the Office of the Attorney General in Richmond to request the manufacturer to either replace your vehicle or refund your money. This type of claim generally has to be filed before you reach the 18th month anniversary of having purchased your car.

Virginia lawmakers have established defined criteria to be used for identifying whether a vehicle is indeed considered a lemon. An attorney can help you determine whether you qualify to file a claim under the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, and if so, can help you recover the damages that you're entitled to.

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