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If you think a car is extraordinarily unreliable, then maybe you have a lemon.

Specifically, a car can be labeled as a lemon if it is proven to be defective, with reoccurring problems that happen in a short period of time.

Lemons can be the result of an anomaly during the manufacturing process, like a worn out tool that couldn’t apply the right torque, or a missed item during quality inspection. One small imperfection can compromise a whole car, it’s like the butterfly effect, but for vehicles.

Although lemons are rare, they do happen, and the problem was big enough that the government got involved by passing legislation to help protect consumers.

“Most states deem a vehicle a lemon when it has been out of service more than three or four times,” explained Steve Lehto, a Lemon Law Attorney based in Michigan. He also points out that a car can be deemed a lemon if its been in service for 25 to 35 days. Lehto is the author of The New Lemon Law Bible, and has plenty of experience helping consumers with lemons.

“As you approach either one of those criteria, it would be a good idea to consult a lawyer to see what your state’s guidelines are. Too many people wait too long, and time is not on your side,” he said.
Read What is a Lemon at AutoGuide.com to learn more about avoiding faulty and unreliable cars.
 
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