How Can I Protect My Rights?

  • You never know when you buy a new car whether it will turn out to be a lemon. As a new car buyer you should check out the dealerships` service facility as closely as you check out the new vehicle. Is the area clean, organized, and well lit; do the equipment and tools appear modern and well maintained? A dealer who is proud of the service facility will be happy to demonstrate this. Also, ask if the dealer gives appointments for warranty repairs and what is the normal delay in obtaining an appointment.
  • Prior to the sale, read and understand the warranty. The dealer is required by a Federal trade Commission rule to make all warranties available prior to the sale.
  • Be wary of purchasing a service contract (extended warranty), especially contracts which are not backed by the vehicle`s manufacturer. Read and understand what is covered and more importantly what is not covered. In most cases the service contracts can be purchased up to the date the manufacturer`s new car warranty expires. Remember, there is little or no benefit from a service contract during a vehicle`s first year.
  • Prior to taking delivery of your new car, inspect it. If any problems are noted, refuse delivery until they are corrected. Be wary of promises that We`ll take care of those problems at the first service.
  • You should be very concerned if a dealer attempts to deliver a new vehicle with obvious defects.
  • Read, understand and follow maintenance requirements contained in the owner`s manual. Your driving habits may be considered by the manufacturer as a severe operating condition and may require more frequent maintenance.
  • If problems develop, contact your dealer as soon as possible to request an appointment for repairs. On the appointment day, arrive 15 minutes early and be ready for up to a one­hour delay. Few Alaska dealers offer loaner or courtesy car service. Therefore, you should arrange to be picked up or plan on a cab ride.
  • Give the service advisor a dated note completely describing all of the conditions about which you are complaining. Do not attempt to diagnose the cause of the conditions, simply describe them.
  • Consider consulting with an attorney. If you do not have an attorney, contact the Alaska Bar Association`s Lawyer Referral Service in Anchorage. The telephone number is 272­0352 (outside of Anchorage call toll­free (800) 770­9999). Some labor union contracts allow for legal services. If you have this coverage, contact your union representative for assistance.
  • Under the Lemon Law, if you wish to claim a refund or replacement you must give written notice by certified mail to the manufacturer and its dealer or repairing agent. You must send this notice within sixty days after the express warranty ends, or within sixty days after the one­year period ends (measured as one year from the date the motor vehicle was delivered to the original owner), whichever occurs first.
  • The notice must contain the following information:
    1. That the vehicle has a nonconformity;
    2. A reasonable description of the nonconformity;
    3. That the manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or repairing agent has made a reasonable number of attempts to conform the vehicle;
    4. That the owner demands a refund or replacement vehicle to be delivered on the 60th day after the mailing of the written notice;
    5. A description of the vehicle (year, make, and model);
    6. The vehicle identification number. This number is located on the tag behind the driver`s side of your windshield, or it can be found on the vehicle registration as serial number; and
    7. Your name, address and, if possible, a daytime phone number.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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