- Location: Iowa
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Picking out your latest set of wheels can be exciting, but it's important to remember your purchase does involve some amount of risk. For example, certain vehicles are called "lemons" because they have defects that significantly impair their value, safety, and/or use. Fortunately, Iowa law provides you with legal protection if you've purchased a lemon.
Iowa's "Lemon Law" protects consumers who have purchased new vehicles with substantial defects. If your new truck has chipped paint, you're probably out of luck. However, if the brakes on your minivan don't work and the repair shop just can't seem to fix them, you may have a lemon on your hands.
Lemon Law guidelines apply for the first two years or the first 24,000 miles after your new-vehicle purchase. You may receive a refund or replacement for your vehicle if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
- You've sent your vehicle in for repairs at least three times for the same problem with no success.
- Your vehicle has been sent for repairs on a malfunction that could cause serious injury or death, and the problem has not been fixed.
- Your vehicle has been out of service for at least 20 days total, and it still doesn't work properly.
Generally, there are three steps to follow if you wish to claim a Lemon Law refund.
- If you believe you are entitled to a refund or replacement for your vehicle, you should notify the manufacturer by registered, overnight, or certified mail. Keep a copy of this notice for your personal records.
- If the manufacturer does not resolve the problem within 10 days, you may request that the manufacturer replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price, minus a fee for your use of the vehicle.
- If your request is refused, you may hire an attorney and file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. However, if the company offers a dispute resolution service, you must go through this process first.
Visit the Iowa Attorney General's website to read more about the Lemon Law in plain English―not legalese. To learn more about your specific legal rights, consult an attorney in your area who specializes in lemon law cases. A lawyer will be able to provide advice on the best way to proceed with your case.