Question from Joe, Does Washington State’s Lemon Law Apply to Used Cars Purchased from a Dealership?
Answer from AI:
In general, Washington State’s Lemon Law, officially known as the Motor Vehicle Warranties Performance Act (RCW 19.118), primarily applies to new vehicles. However, there are certain circumstances where it may apply to used vehicles.
Washington State’s Lemon Law and Used Cars
The Lemon Law in Washington State is designed to help new vehicle owners who have substantial continuing problems with warranty repairs. The law allows the owner to request an arbitration hearing through the Lemon Law Administration of Attorney General’s Office. This process is a free and relatively fast way to resolve a dispute with the manufacturer about a new vehicle that doesn’t conform to the manufacturer’s warranty.
However, the law is not as clear when it comes to used vehicles. The Lemon Law applies to used vehicles only if:
- The vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s original warranty, and
- The problem occurred within two years or 24,000 miles of the vehicle’s original delivery date.
In your case, since you did not get a warranty for the used car, it’s unlikely that the Lemon Law would apply.
Other Legal Recourses
Even if the Lemon Law doesn’t apply, you may have other legal recourses. For example, if the dealership knowingly sold you a car with a faulty transmission, you might be able to make a claim under the Washington State Consumer Protection Act.
It’s important to consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and potential remedies in this situation. They can provide personalized advice based on the specifics of your case.
Steps to Take
If you find yourself in this situation, here are some general steps you might take:
- Document everything: Keep a record of all interactions with the dealership, including dates, times, and the content of the conversations.
- Get a second opinion: Have the car inspected by an independent mechanic to confirm the transmission issue.
- Contact the dealership: Inform them about the issue and ask for a resolution. They might be willing to fix the problem or offer some form of compensation.
- Consult with a lawyer: If the dealership is uncooperative, a lawyer can help you understand your options and potentially pursue a legal claim.
For more information, you can visit the Washington State Attorney General’s Office website or the Washington State Department of Licensing website.
Remember, this information is a general guide and not a substitute for legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.