There's a saying that says when life hand you lemons, you should make lemonade. That's all good and well when it's real lemons and real lemonade, but when it's your car that's a lemon, you want a little something more than just lemonade. You want a car that works the way that it should or you want some compensation for your defective car. That's where lemon laws come into play.
Lemon laws are consumer protection laws. They are there to protect consumers if there is a defective product. While most consumer goods have some kind of lemon law protecting them, generally what is meant by lemon is some kind of vehicle. The laws are there to give you a way to get some kind of solution to your car not working.
So what makes a lemon a lemon? While it will vary from state to state, depending on what the law has to say, there are some things that all the laws have. In almost all cases, one of the things that qualifies a car to be a lemon is that it has to be a new car still under warranty. There are some cases when a certified used car will qualify, but in most of the cases, it has to be a new car. Another criterion is that the defect has to be a substantial one. A radio knob that keeps falling off doesn't qualify. That's just a minor problem. A substantial defect would be something that keeps the brakes from working or that continually causes the transmission to fail. A third criterion is that the problem has to have been tried to be repaired repeatedly with nothing actually fixing the problem. The number of times that the car has tried to be repaired has to be a reasonable number, something like once or twice wouldn't count as reasonable, but what would count as reasonable depends on your state.
There are a few ways that you can get a remedy for your problem, which is generally the dealership buying your car back. One is that you can go to the Better Business Bureau and ask them to help negotiate between you and the dealership so that everything will work out. If that doesn't work, then you will need to get a lemon law attorney to help you to fight to get what you are entitled to.
If you have a brand new car that appears to be a lemon, don't make lemonade, see what you can do to remedy the situation.