Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
When I was researching this auto insurance blog, I posted to a question to my Facebook page: “Have you ever purchased a lemon? What did you do about it? What help were you able to get, from where, and from whom?”
The response I received? “Yes, I squeezed it into my water, it was good.”
While I was looking for some helpful advice about what to do with a dud of a car and how to minimize your losses if you wind up with one, I understand that sometimes the best way to deal with a problem is to laugh about it.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to deal with a car that turns out to be a lemon. It can be especially frustrating if you go into debt or take out a loan to pay for the car, but you may have some help from federal and state laws.
Federal and state lemon laws
A manufacturer’s warranty spells out the terms under which the manufacturer is legally responsible for repairs to the vehicle or other product. The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act, which is the federal lemon law, covers a manufacturer’s breach of warranty.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects all consumers in the country, but each state has its own lemon law as well. Your state lemon law will outline how new, used, and leased vehicles are covered. Your state attorney general’s website should have more information about your local lemon laws.
What determines if a car is considered a lemon?
We might all like to have a manufacturer pay for our regular car maintenance, but there are certain criteria that must be met for a car to be considered a lemon:
In our litigious society, even if you’re entitled to damages or repairs for a lemon car, sometimes victims still have to work hard to prove their claims. Unnecessary lawsuits and false claims have increased paperwork and protocol to the extent that the victims can be treated like criminals.
If you have a legitimate lemon claim, be prepared to put in quite a bit of time and effort on it. A friend of mine recently purchased a lemon, and she said it took several months to rectify the situation. That’s a long time to be aggravated and frustrated when you have to prove your claim.
Insurance vs. warranty
Unfortunately, repeated mechanical failure is not a covered peril in an insurance policy. Remember, a warranty is a contract and insurance is a policy. A warranty protects you when maintenance is required as a result of normal wear and tear. Insurance provides coverage that replaces or repairs damage to property in the event of natural, unnatural, and accidental hazards.
How to identify the history of a used car
Most dealerships market their inventory of used vehicles as “certified pre-owned.” This means the dealer certifies that the car has been reconditioned and inspected and that it is warrantied by the manufacturer. This certification may provide the consumer an extra layer of reassurance because any lemon law claims are made to the manufacturer, not the dealer.
As a consumer, you can also do your own research to find out the history of a used car. To start, you can check out CARFAX, a vehicle research site. With CARFAX, you can use a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to search the database for the full history of any vehicle.
If you’re a member of AAA, you can get a discount on a CARFAX report, but even if you have to pay full price, it’s worth the cost of avoiding the pain of a lemon car.
Homeowners Insurance: Someone Gets Hurt On Your Property
Health Insurance Coverage for Infertility Treatments
Buying Life Insurance for Your Kids
Sports Health Insurance for Kids: What Parents Need to Know
New Vs Used Cars: What You Need to Know about Auto Insurance
Your Medical History Can Affect Your Health Insurance Premium
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.