Troublesome Leased Auto


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Painful Auto Lease

Can't Make Car Payments

The Problem

Is it possible to get out of a car lease? What if the car is constantly giving you problems? I have had a brand new car for one year on a three-year lease and have had to take it into the service center of the dealership four times for various problems. First, the air conditioner wouldn't work, then it was stalling (and it is an automatic), then all the power features stopped working, and now part of the computer system (clock, radio, etc.) isn't working properly. Is it just as hard to get out of a lease when you have legitimate complaints?
Brooke

From a Lemon Make Lemonade

Mention the "Lemon Law" to the dealership and then say, "I'm sure the Better Business Bureau would like to hear about this." See what happens after that. You just may be pleasantly surprised.
Lynn

Insider's Report

A leased car is no different than a purchase when it comes to mechanical problems covered under warranty. As long as the vehicle is being repaired at no cost to you, then there isn't anything you can do. If you had purchased the vehicle rather than leased it, you could sell it or trade it in. However, you would take a loss due to the fact that the vehicle is only a year old. The same thing applies to a lease when you want to sell or trade it in before the lease is up. The "Lemon Law" applies only when the manufacturer has had the vehicle in the shop for the same problem for more than 30 days in one year's time period, especially if it has to do with a safety problem.
Carlo
Purchase and Lease Consultant

Read the Lease

The person with the leased car needs to read the lease. There should be explicit provisions regarding what he had already agreed to in case of the leased car and its repairs. These are called "express warranties." There may also be implied warranties under state law, whether the car is leased or owned. However, the leasee needs to start with the lease and read what it is he signed and to what he had already agreed. It is usually easier to start with the contractual remedies than with statutory remedies. His recourse to the second will depend on the state law where he lives and leased the car (assuming they are one and the same).
RC, Esq.

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