What to Do If Your New Car Has Problems – Helpful Tips for Car Owners


Purchasing a brand new car can be a dream come true for many of us. After all, with all its advanced features, a new car can be a symbol of prestige, comfort and convenience. However, what would you do if you find out that your new car is not functioning as it should? It can be frustrating and disheartening, but it’s important to know that there are ways to tackle such situations. In this blog, we’ll be discussing what you can do if your new car has problems.

Whether your new car is experiencing minor hiccups or major issues, it’s essential to be proactive and address the problem as soon as possible. After all, a faulty car not only impacts your safety but can also put a damper on your daily routine. In the following sections, we’ll be covering some steps you can take to address the problem and get your new car back to working condition.

Step 1: Contact the automaker

When you notice any issues with your new car, your first step should be to contact the automaker. Manufacturers often provide warranties or guarantees that cover the cost of repairs or replacement of faulty components. However, to avail these benefits, you need to follow the protocol specified in the warranty agreement.

Step 2: Engage with the dealership

Another responsive step would be to engage with the dealership from where you purchased your car. In most cases, dealerships have skilled and experienced in-house mechanics who can diagnose the issue and potentially offer a solution. Additionally, if your car is brand new, your dealership may offer a replacement or refund, depending on the severity of the issue.

Step 3: Seek professional legal advice

If you are not able to find a solution and the manufacturer or dealership is not cooperative, it’s appropriate to seek legal assistance. This can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and can also help in building a strong case further in case of escalation.

In conclusion, owning a new car comes with a great deal of responsibility, not just for its maintenance, but also for quickly addressing any issues encountered. By following the recommended steps and being proactive in seeking a resolution, you can ensure a smooth ownership experience and get the most value out of your new investment.

Understanding the Lemon Law

What is the Lemon Law?

The Lemon Law is a set of laws designed to help consumers who have purchased or leased a new vehicle that has significant defects or problems. These laws typically require the manufacturer or dealer to repair or replace the defective vehicle, or provide a refund or other compensation to the consumer. The specifics of the Lemon Law can vary from state to state, so it’s important to know the laws in your particular state.

When does the Lemon Law apply?

The Lemon Law typically applies to a new vehicle that has a defect or problem that cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts. The specifics of what constitutes a “reasonable number” may vary from state to state, but typically it means that the vehicle has been in the shop for repairs a certain number of times, or has been out of service for a certain number of days. In general, the defect or problem must be significant enough to affect the safety, value, or use of the vehicle.

It’s important to note that the Lemon Law usually only applies to new vehicles that are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. However, some states also have similar laws that apply to used vehicles. In either case, if you believe that your vehicle may qualify under the Lemon Law, you should contact an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law. They can help you understand your rights and the best course of action to take.

Here is a table that shows some specific Lemon Law requirements for different states:

State Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts Length of Coverage Refund/Replacement Offered?
California 4 18 months or 18,000 miles Yes
Texas 2 for serious safety issues, 4 for other issues 2 years or 24,000 miles Yes
Florida 3 or more for same issue, 8 or more total repairs 24 months or 24,000 miles Yes
New York 4 2 years or 18,000 miles Yes

Document the Issues

If you suspect that your new car has problems, it’s important to document them as thoroughly as possible. This documentation can be incredibly valuable if you end up needing to pursue a legal remedy or seek compensation from the manufacturer. Here are some tips for documenting the issues you’re experiencing:

Keep track of the problems

The first step is to keep a written record of the problems you’ve experienced with the car. Be as specific as possible, including the date, time, and circumstances of each occurrence. Identify any warning lights or error messages that appeared on the dashboard. Note how the car was behaving at the time, such as any strange noises or vibrations you noticed. Finally, record what you did to resolve the issue, if anything.

You may also want to keep track of any conversations you have with your dealer or with the manufacturer about these issues. Make note of the date, time, and names of the people you spoke with, as well as the details of the conversation. This can help you later if you need to prove that you’ve been diligent in trying to resolve the problem.

Take pictures and videos

In addition to a written record, it’s also helpful to take pictures and/or videos of any issues you’ve experienced. This can be especially useful if the issue is difficult to describe or diagnose. If the car has visually obvious issues, such as a dent or scratch, take close-up photos that clearly show the damage. If the problem is with a particular component of the car, such as the engine or transmission, try to capture a clear image of the affected area. Similarly, if you’re experiencing issues with the car’s performance or behavior, try to take a video that demonstrates the problem as clearly as possible.

Remember, the goal of documenting the issues isn’t to prove that the car is defective or to place blame on anyone. Your aim should be to keep a clear and comprehensive record of all the issues you’ve experienced with your new car. This will help you if you need to pursue any legal remedies or to negotiate with the manufacturer for compensation or a resolution.

Contact the Dealer

If you have purchased a new car that has problems, the first step is to contact the dealer. The dealer is required to honour any warranties that come with the vehicle, which means that they should be willing to address any issues you have with the car.

Contacting the dealer should be your first priority, even if you suspect that the car’s problems may be linked to a manufacturing defect. In most cases, dealers are able to provide the necessary support to get your car back on track.

When you contact the dealer, be sure to have all relevant documents with you. This includes your purchase agreement, any warranty documents, as well as records of any repair work that has previously been undertaken on the car.

Understand your warranty

Before contacting the dealer, it’s important to understand the specifics of your warranty. Most new cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers any defects or issues that occur within a certain timeframe. The length of the warranty varies by make and model and can range from a few months to several years.

It’s essential to read the warranty carefully to understand exactly what is covered and what isn’t. Typically, warranties cover mechanical issues, but don’t cover damages caused by normal wear and tear, accidents, or neglect.

Keep in mind that not all warranties are created equal. Some warranties may be more comprehensive than others, so it’s important to know what your warranty covers before contacting the dealer.

Request for repairs or replacement

If the dealer confirms that your car has a defect or problem that is covered by the warranty, they will usually offer to make the necessary repairs. In some cases, they may offer to provide a replacement vehicle instead.

If the issue is not covered by the warranty, you may still be able to negotiate with the dealer to have repairs completed at a reduced cost or under some other arrangement. However, it’s important to note that the dealer is not under any obligation to address issues that are not covered by the warranty.

In some cases, it may be necessary to take legal action if the dealer is unwilling or unable to resolve the issue with your car. However, this should only be considered as a last resort, and legal advice should be sought before taking any action.

Things to do if new car has problems:
Contact the dealer
Understand your warranty
Request for repairs or replacement
Consider legal action as a last resort

File a Complaint

If your new car has problems, the first step to take is to file a complaint. This can help you get a resolution to your issue and potentially even compensation for any damages or inconvenience caused. There are a few steps you can take to file a complaint effectively:

Find out how to file a complaint

Before you file a complaint, it is important to find out the proper channels to do so. Depending on the nature of your problem and the manufacturer of your car, there may be different procedures and contact information to follow. Some options include:

Manufacturer Contact Information
Ford 1-800-392-3673
General Motors 1-800-222-1020
Toyota 1-800-331-4331
Honda 1-800-999-1009

Additionally, you may find consumer protection agencies or organizations in your area that can assist you with filing a complaint or providing resources to help you resolve the issue. It is important to research and select legitimate sources for assistance.

Seek Legal Action

When a new car has problems, seeking legal action may be necessary to resolve the issue. Depending on the severity of the problem and the response of the dealership or manufacturer, legal action may be the best course of action.

Consider hiring an attorney

Before taking legal action, it may be beneficial to hire an attorney to assess the situation and help determine the appropriate course of action. An attorney with experience in consumer protection and automotive law can provide valuable guidance and representation throughout the legal process.

It is important to choose an attorney with a strong reputation and a track record of successful cases in automotive law. Ask for referrals from friends or family members, and research potential attorneys online to read reviews and testimonials from previous clients.

Prepare for a legal battle

If legal action is necessary, it is important to be prepared for a potentially lengthy and complex legal battle. This may include gathering all relevant documents and evidence, such as repair invoices, vehicle sale and warranty agreements, and any other correspondence with the dealership or manufacturer.

Additionally, it may be necessary to undergo mediation or arbitration before proceeding with a lawsuit. Mediation involves a neutral third party working to facilitate a resolution between the parties involved, while arbitration is a more formal hearing process where an arbitrator makes a decision on the case.

Before proceeding with mediation or arbitration, it is important to fully understand the terms of any agreement and to consult with an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.


What should I do if my new car has problems?

If you are experiencing problems with your new car, the first step is to contact the dealership or manufacturer. In most cases, there will be a warranty or guarantee in place that will cover the cost of any repairs necessary. Explain the problem clearly and ask for a timely solution. If the issue is not resolved, you may need to escalate the matter further by contacting a relevant consumer protection agency or seeking legal advice. It is important to keep records of any communication with the dealer or manufacturer, as well as receipts and invoices for any repairs or maintenance carried out.

What are my rights if my new car has problems?

As a consumer, you have the right to expect any product you purchase to be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. This includes new cars. If your car develops problems within a reasonable period of time (usually a few months), you may be entitled to a repair, replacement or refund under consumer law. Your rights may vary depending on the specific circumstances, so it is worth seeking advice from a consumer organization or legal expert. It is also important to check the terms of any warranty or guarantee that came with the car, as they may provide additional protection.

Should I take my new car to an independent mechanic if it has problems?

If your car is covered by a warranty or guarantee from the dealership or manufacturer, it is generally better to take it to an authorized repair center for any necessary work. This is because using an independent mechanic could invalidate the warranty, meaning that you would have to pay for any repairs out of your own pocket. However, if the problem is minor or the warranty has expired, you may choose to take your car to an independent mechanic. It is important to choose a reputable mechanic who has experience working on your make and model of car.

How long should I wait for a resolution to my new car’s problems?

The length of time it takes to resolve any problems with your new car will depend on the specific circumstances. If the issue is relatively minor and can be fixed quickly, you may be able to have it resolved within a few days. However, if the problem is more serious or complex, it may take several weeks or even months to fully resolve. It is important to keep in regular contact with the dealership or manufacturer to ensure that progress is being made towards a resolution, and to document any communication you have with them.

What should I do if the dealership or manufacturer refuses to fix my new car?

If the dealership or manufacturer refuses to fix your new car, despite it being covered by warranty or consumer protection laws, you may need to escalate the issue. This could mean contacting a relevant consumer protection agency or seeking legal advice. Before taking any action, it may be worth trying to negotiate a compromise or solution with the dealer or manufacturer. However, if this is not possible, it is important to know your rights and take appropriate action to protect them. Keep detailed records of all communication and any costs incurred as a result of the problem, as this will be important evidence if you need to take legal action.


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