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Lemon Laws

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The 2013 models are on the car lots. Not every new car is a good car, and that's where lemon laws come in.

Every state has its own lemon laws. In most, a lemon is a vehicle that suffers a defect that substantially impairs the car's value or safety and that cannot be repaired after 3 attempts by an authorized manufacturer's dealership, or that is out of commission for a certain number of days during the first 12 months. The defect must generally be caused in the manufacture, and not as a result of an accident or poor maintenance. And note that the lemon laws generally only cover new cars.

Once a car is declared a lemon, neither the manufacturer nor the dealer can resell it without notifying you of its status as "non-conforming," so read the fine print carefully.

You can also do a search of websites devoted to legal recourse and makes and models of common lemons that can provide advice - and of course ads for lawyers willing to provide aid for your lemon.

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