The Most Unusual Lemon Laws

When it comes to shopping, the old adage that says “you get what you pay for” is generally true. Sometimes, people who make a significant investment in good faith find out that they have purchased a lemon. Fortunately, shoppers in Pennsylvania enjoy broader consumer protection laws than residents in most states. The Pennsylvania Lemon Law covers passenger vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles, computers, major appliances and even puppies. Consumers in Pennsylvania are protected by the state’s aggressive lemon laws and federal consumer protection statutes that were established by the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act.

Pennsylvania Vehicle Laws and Warranties

Consumer protection laws for new cars and recreational vehicles typically kick in after three unsuccessful repair attempts or if the vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 consecutive days. In Pennsylvania, the vehicle manufacturer is responsible for completing further repairs at no cost to the consumer. This protection is available within one year of the car’s purchase, within the first 12,000 miles or within the manufacturer’s warranty period. If the vehicle cannot be repaired by the manufacturer, the vehicle owner is entitled to a replacement or a refund minus a limited fee for using the vehicle while it was functioning. Similar consumer protection terms are also available for RVs, boats, motorcycles and other non-traditional vehicles. Furthermore, if a new vehicle has been classified as a lemon, it cannot be legally resold in Pennsylvania.

Consumer Protection for Appliances

Since 2003, House Bill 2284 has protected Pennsylvania residents who purchased a defective computer or electronic device. Pennsylvania and Illinois are among the small number of states who offer lemon law protection for computers. According to this statute, computer manufacturers must inform consumers of their right to sue if the manufacturer does not agree to complete a return, a refund or repairs. Under this law, the manufacturer must initiate repairs within five days of the defect’s discovery.

As a general rule, consumers have a right to request a replacement, a refund, a return or repair services if they have been sold a defective item. The federal version of the lemon law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, protects consumers who purchase any big ticket item, such as a washer and dryer, a TV, a heater or a refrigerator. This law establishes written and implied warranties. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, consumers should expect to purchase a product that works in a safe manner and functions as intended.

Federal consumer protection laws and the Pennsylvania Lemon Law agree that consumers are entitled to their choice of a refund, a replacement or repairs if they are sold a lemon . The chosen solution must be completed in a reasonable amount of time and at no cost to the consumer. If you don’t receive what you paid for or if you didn’t receive an item that works as it should after repeated repairs, you are entitled to compensation under state and federal lemon laws.

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