In addition to lemon laws (which deal specifically with contracts of sale for new cars and trucks), states have also enacted the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”), which deals with contracts of sale for all products.
How does the UCC work?
The UCC is very complex. To learn about it in detail, we strongly advise you to consult an experienced consumer lawyer.
The UCC has some major themes, one of which is the “reasonable expectation of the consumer”. But consumers have obligations as well as expectations.
The reasonable expectation of the consumer
Consumers have a right to have their “reasonable expectations” fulfilled. For example, a new car buyer can expect the manufacturer to repair problems that are expressly mentioned in a warranty within the warranty period.
What federal laws protect consumers from lemons?
Federal laws are enacted by the United States Congress. The federal law that deals with car sales is called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
This body of Federal law protects the consumer of any product worth more than over $25.00 that comes with an express written warranty. The Magnuson-Moss law provides for disclosure of warranties before the purchase of the vehicle. For example, under a written warranty, if any part of the vehicle is defective, the warrantor must permit the buyer the choice of either a refund or replacement of the vehicle.
For further information about what specific rights and protections this law provides, consult an experienced consumer attorney.
Should I see a lawyer?
Yes. Consumer law in this area is highly technical. Not only is there federal law covering this area, but also state law – which varies from state to state.
You might do something that you think is fair under the circumstances but might in reality seriously prejudice your rights. Play it safe and see a consumer attorney near you.