What is a buyer’s recourse if their new car has mechanical issues?

UPDATED: May 1, 2011

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What is a buyer’s recourse if their new car has mechanical issues?

We bought a new car with 8 miles on it. The slip light was on since we got it and we went to the dealer to have it checked. They found alignment and sub-frame problems. We don’t want to pay for a new car with problems. What are our options?

Asked on May 1, 2011 under General Practice, Oregon


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to check your state's lemon laws for new cars and whether you can simply exchange the car now or wait until the car has been fixed a number of times. Now is the time to use your powers of negotiation. If the dealer found these issues, and it is of course still under warranty, have the dealer take your car back and give you a new one, pay for the registration costs and have them deal with the manufacturer on returns. If this car is subject to a new loan, talk to your lender about the impact and whether the loan needs to be discharged (paid off or amended regarding the new exchange) once you do get your new car exchanged.

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