Consumer Lemon Law

How Long Can The Dealership Keep Your Car For Repairs Under Warranty?

California Lemon vehicle defects

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How long should the dealership keep your car for repairs? If it’s more than 30 days you might have a lemon on your hands.

Dealerships try to turn repairs around quickly but when your defective vehicle continues to cause problems, how long should your car be at the dealership before calling a Lemon Law attorney and filing a claim?   

In this article, we dive into dealerships surpassing 30-day repair timelines, examining the reasons behind these delays and the genuine struggles experienced by car owners. 


How Long Can a Dealership Hold Your Car For Repairs?

30 days is the acceptable amount of time a dealership can hold your car for repairs.  These days may have regional or national variations, extending the limit to 45 days or even longer for complex repairs or remote locations with limited access to parts. 

By following up and keeping the lines of communication open, car owners can avoid surprises and understand what the real issue is so the next steps can be taken. 

How Long is Too Long For Your Car to be in The Shop?

Anything over 30 days is too long anywhere in the US. If your car continues to present the same problem and the dealership does not offer a solution, then it’s time to explore your options under the law. 

If you enjoy the vehicle model then you can request for the manufacturer to replace your vehicle with one that is not defective or ask for a refund for the purchase price of the vehicle minus the mileage offset.

What’s the mileage offset? It’s the mileage used before the defect was found. To make things easier, we have our buyback calculator that calculates your refund amount. 

We can file your lemon law claim

What Are My Rights When a Dealership Takes Too Long To Repair My Car?

When dealerships exceed the repair duration limit, car owners have specific rights to protect them from undue delays and inconvenience. Below we highlight your rights:

Hire a Lemon Law attorney

If your vehicle has been in the shop multiple times for the same defect and the dealership has your car for longer periods, you can hire an attorney to file a Lemon claim.

Receive a replacement vehicle

After 30 days, you can talk to the dealership to have the manufacturer replace your defective vehicle with one that works.

Ask for a refund

If you are over waiting for the dealership to find a solution to your vehicle's defect, then you can ask the manufacturer for a refund.

Have out of pocket expenses refunded.

If you experience any out of pocket expenses because of your vehicle's defect, then you can ask for the manufacturer to cover those expenses.

Can the Lemon Law Help Me?

Lemon laws are there to help you if your car keeps breaking down. They vary from state to state, but they all have the same goal, to get you a working car or your money back.

So, what do you need to do? First, check your state’s lemon law to find out what your rights are. The specific requirements vary from state to state, so it’s important to do your research.

Once you know your rights, you can start the process of getting your car fixed or getting your money back. If you’re not sure where to start, you can contact us and we can set up a free consultation with an attorney near you that specializes in Lemon law. 

Lemon laws are important because they hold manufacturers and dealerships accountable for the cars they sell. If you’re thinking about buying a car, familiarize yourself with your state’s lemon law so that you know what to do if you end up with a lemon.

How Does Dispute Resolution Work With a Dealership?

Dealing with conflicts at a dealership or with a manufacturer can be tough, but car owners have choices for resolving them. Mediation and arbitration are alternate routes that aim to find common ground outside of court. 

Still, if these methods fall short or if there are serious violations involved, taking legal action might become necessary. 

For instance, if a dealership keeps ignoring critical defects, breaches warranty agreements, or behaves unethically, car owners may consider seeking legal recourse. 

Find a Lemon Law Lawyer in your area that has experience with Dealerships and start with sharing your case and provide documentation regarding the repairs. 

Documenting the Process

Car owners should wisely and routinely document the repair process. Keeping records of interactions, repair estimates, invoices, and encountered issues ensures clarity and accountability.

By doing so, car owners possess tangible evidence to compare promised repairs against actual work. This documentation proves beneficial if resolving delays or unsatisfactory outcomes is necessary.

Furthermore, comprehensive records aid in resolving disputes or misunderstandings with the dealership or manufacturer, showing active engagement throughout the process.

In conclusion, diligent documentation empowers defective car owners to protect their rights, ensures transparency, and effectively navigates the repair process.

Now That I Have A Lemon Law Layer, What Next?

Car owners facing unresolved issues with dealerships or manufacturers must seek vital legal assistance. An experienced attorney specializing in automotive law can help comprehend rights, assess the case, and determine the best actions. 

Whether pursuing a legal claim under Lemon Laws, seeking compensation for delays, or addressing warranty breaches, a skilled lawyer advocates for the car owner’s interests. Legal support ensures a robust ally, adeptly navigating complexities, and enhancing the likelihood of achieving a satisfactory resolution.

Preventative Measures

Car owners can take proactive steps to safeguard their interests such as:

  • Researching dealerships’ reputations before choosing one helps identify trustworthy establishments. 
  • Understanding warranty terms ensures compliance with repair guidelines and coverage limitations. 
  • Addressing repair concerns promptly can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. 
  • Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, enhances vehicle longevity. 
  • Keeping comprehensive records of repairs and interactions with the dealership aids in resolving potential disputes. 
  • Being informed and proactive empowers car owners to make sound decisions and maintain their vehicles’ optimal performa

Manufacturer's Warranty and Repair Coverage

The warranty typically covers a wide range of repairs, including mechanical and electrical issues. Dealerships are responsible for efficiently carrying out these repairs, without any additional expense to the owner.

Understanding the intricacies of this warranty empowers car owners to approach dealerships confidently, expecting prompt and hassle-free fixes. This knowledge ensures consumers receive the service they rightfully deserve and enjoy the reassuring peace of mind that comes with warranty coverage.

Dealership Taking Too Long to Repair Your Vehicle FAQs

If the dealership has your car for over 30 days without completing repairs, you have the right to demand a written estimate of charges for the repairs exceeding $50.

Yes, you can if the car is under warranty. If the dealership fails to return your car within 30 days, you can hire a Lemon Law attorney and file a claim based on the dealership’s failure to fix your vehicle’s defect. 

If your car is in the dealership for more than 30 days for warranty repairs, you may have the right to pursue legal action under the Lemon Law to seek compensation for the inconvenience and any resulting damages.

Yes, the Lemon Law offers remedies if your vehicle spends an excessive amount of time in the shop for repairs, such as requiring the dealer to provide a comparable replacement vehicle or offering a refund or replacement.

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