Driving a new car off the lot is one of the best feelings you can have. After all, you’re expecting years of worry-free, reliable transportation and just spent a premium for it. But when the new vehicle ends up in the shop, it can be maddening. That’s where Colorado’s lemon law comes in.
Why do we have lemon laws?
Lemon laws are designed to protect the rights of consumers who have unknowingly purchased “lemons,” that is, motor vehicles that are in poor shape and prone to malfunctioning and breaking down. If you bought a lemon, you have important rights, but there are a few facts you should know about Colorado lemon laws before taking action. Consider the following:
- Lemon laws are only for new cars: One of the most common misconceptions about Colorado lemon laws is that they apply to used cars. In fact, the laws in Colorado only apply to cars within the first year following the date of original delivery to a consumer. If you have bought a used car that turned out to be a clunker, unfortunately, you have no recourse under Colorado laws unless the car is still within one year from its original sale.
- Lemon laws only apply to self-propelled vehicles: The law only applies to vehicles that move independently, such as cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. If you bought a trailer, tow-behind recreational vehicle or other non-self-propelled vehicle, you do not have rights under Colorado lemon laws. Motorcycles and motor homes are also excluded.
- The defects must be significant: Minor problems do not warrant a lemon law case. The defect must be substantial and impair its use and market value. At least four attempts to fix the problem must have been made by the dealer and the defect continues to exist, or the vehicle must have been out of commission for at least 30 business days of the repairer. The defect must arise within one year of purchase.
All of these conditions apply. Now what?
If you truly have a lemon on your hands, you should speak with an attorney who handles lemon law cases in Colorado. You may be entitled to a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price from the dealer who sold you the car.