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Is my used car covered under the lemon law?

When you buy a vehicle in Virginia, you expect it to be in good condition. Unless the seller discloses any issues, you expect it to run properly and not require any maintenance. When buying a used car, there are often exceptions. Since the car is not new, it may have issues even the seller does not know. In any case, the lemon law may help you if you get a vehicle that has serious defects.

According to the Better Business Bureau, the lemon law is called the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act. As the name suggests, it only covers vehicles under manufacturer warranty. This may include used cars. Often, though, it only covers new cars. The law protects you for 18 months after purchase and allows you the right to have the manufacturer or seller to have to fix any defects covered by the manufacturer's express warranty. If the manufacturer or seller cannot fix the defect, they may have to give you a new vehicle or refund your money.

Some may argue that the law does not cover used cars, but the wording in the statute does not distinguish between new and used. It simply says a manufacturer's warranty needs to cover the vehicle at the time of purchase.

There is one distinction you should note. You must use the vehicle for personal use only. It does not cover cars, trucks, vans or other vehicles bought to use in a business. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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