Lemon Laws, Car Accidents, and Injuries


Late last year, Toyota Motor Corporation sustained a significant legal defeat in a case over a manufacturing defect. In the case, the plaintiff argued that Toyota was responsible for the death of a Toyota Camry driver in a crash that occurred due to him being unable to stop the vehicle. The $3 million settlement was given as a result of apparent faulty electronics systems in the vehicles.

You may remember this case as being one of the many that were filed against Toyota, as numerous car accidents caused by the unintended acceleration of their vehicles took place. Despite Toyota’s loss in this case, alternative verdicts were reached in other matters in different jurisdictions across the country.

This case serves as an important reminder of the saying “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware.” Fortunately for consumers, all 50 states have passed “lemon laws” that protect them from faulty cars and other products. If you are in the market for a new car, make sure you know how your state’s lemon law works before making a final purchase. At the same time it is important to understand that different legal options, like injury lawsuits, are available when you are hurt in an accident that may have been caused in full or in part by manufacturing or design problems.

The Basics of Lemon Laws

Lemon laws were enacted to provide a remedy for buyers for cases in which a product that they purchased failed to meet quality and performance standards. These laws vary by state and it’s important to know how your state’s law works before buying a car or other high priced consumer good.

Pennsylvania lemon law applies to new or leased motor vehicles that are registered in Pennsylvania, and that are less than a year old, or have been driven less than 12,000 miles (whatever comes first). Not all new cars with problems meet the qualifications to be deemed a lemon, but if yours does, you must take action quickly to receive relief under the law.

If your car has a defect, the law states that a dealer or manufacturer must correct it within 30 days after receiving notification of the defect by certified mail. If the manufacturer is unable to do this, then in many cases, he must give you a refund or a replacement vehicle if the car has any serious issues.

Pennsylvania Car Accident Injury Lawsuits

Taking advantage of lemon laws is not the end of the matter for those who are involved in an accident caused by problems with a vehicle. As the Camry lawsuits make clear, problems with vehicles can cause harm far greater than simple mechanical problems with a car.

It is important to remember that lemon laws are essentially state rules regarding business transactions and contracts. Alternatively, common law negligence and tort principles may help you bring forth lawsuits against companies who are responsible for car defects that lead to harm. In those cases, it is critical to speak with an injury attorney who will analyze your situation and explain your options for legal recovery.

For help with these issues in Philadelphia or throughout Pennsylvania the team at Solnick & Associates LLC are here to provide the advocacy and guidance you need. Feel free to contact us online or call (215) 481-9979 today for a free confidential consultation.

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