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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 38212
Experience:  Attorney,17 years experience in consumer protection areas
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My question is in regards ***** ***** lemon law and a used

Customer Question

My question is in regards ***** ***** lemon law and a used vehicle. I bought a vehicle out of phenix, Alabama. When it was purchased they offered me a warranty which was supposed to cover repairs on my vehicle. Supposedly the dealership pays money directly into the warranty. When I drove the vehicle off the lot it drove fine and looked fine. However about a week later the vehicle started over heating. I had a mechanic look over the vehicle and they serviced part of the vehicle to get me going again. Not long after that it started over heating again. I had another Mechanic look over the vehicle and he did minor repairs as well. Not long after I had a 3rd Mechanic do some major repair to the vehicle and for them to discover the head gaskets on the vehicle were blown. Upset I called the dealership back to inform they they had sold me an inoperable vehicle and they told me to deal with it or call the warranty company. I called the warranty company and they denied my claim saying the vehicle repair was not covered. I called the dealership back to at least give them there chance to fix the damage so we could all move on, they told me to never call back about that vehicle. Now I'm stuck with an inoperable vehicle needing 3-7k dollars of repair after I have already spent close to 5k dollars all before the first payment is even due on the vehicle.
My question is do I have a case to sue the dealership on the grounds of the lemon law or any other law? Is there a way I can get them to pay for the repairs? Please advice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..Did you actually purchase the vehicle with the warranty included?.Does the written warranty cover any engine damages?.How old is the car and how many miles does it have?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I purchased the warranty at time of sale.
The vehicle has 180000 miles on it. And the warranty states it will cover the vehicle above this mileage.A quote from the warranty company "only if a particular section of the engine components were deemed to be damaged they would cover the part which the mechanics state as the issue"
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, first let me address the lemon law issue.. Unfortunately under AL law, the lemon law only covers new vehicles for 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Alabama Code §8-20A-2. So the lemon law doesn't help with used older cars..With regard to the warranty, if they cover engine damages, then a blown head gasket should be covered as part of the engine and I suspect that they are simply trying to get out of paying for repairs under the warranty..So your recourse here is to carefully read your written warranty and make sure it does cover engine damage and then if they won't cover it, file a civil suit against them in court under a breach of contract claim. The problem here is that AL has a limit of $3K in small claims, so to get your full damages, you would have to hire an attorney to sue in a higher court..However, since the warranty company is acting in bad faith here, you can ask for punitive damages as well as your attorney fees..You might want to contact the warranty company and tell them that if they don't cover the repairs as required under the policy, you will file a formal complaint for "unfair claims practices" with the AL Dept of Insurance and ask them to investigate. Insurers HATE it when consumers file a complaint because their investigation is the equivalent of an IRS audit of an individual so they will take great measures to keep that from happening... If they don't cover it, then file the complaint as the DOI may be able to force them to cover any repairs so you don't have to hire an attorney to sue them..The DOI has a lot of power over insurers to force them to honor their policies and can impose fines and penalties up to revoking their license for violations...thanksBarrister