When Life Gives You Lemons, Make…a Lawsuit? | Automotive Training Centre

There are a lot of perks that come with automotive careers. Whether you’re tinkering under the hood or greeting clients on the front end, a typical day for a car pro is always interesting. But, like with anything else, auto careers also include a few sour moments. Case in point: lemon cars.

The biggest issue with lemons is not so much that they are unfixable, but that unlucky customers who get stuck with them rarely get compensated. Keep in mind that there is a HUGE difference between a lemon and a beater. Beaters have a lot of problems in the mechanics and/or body because of age and low upkeep. Lemons, on the other hand, are cars whose defects occurred in the manufacturing stage.

It goes without saying that auto mechanics and auto body estimators will see their fair share of lemons throughout their careers. But truthfully, anyone who works in the automotive industry will inevitably come across a few lemons. From the workshop to the showroom, lemons will always find a way to creep into our work day.


So, while we expect every car owner to maintain their car properly, should they also be expected to maintain a car that was unknowingly broken when they bought it? Is the manufacturer responsible for any defects that occurred during the production stage? Or is each individual dealership responsible for their own inventory of cars?

These are really tough questions to answer, especially in a country where there aren’t any official “lemon laws.” Unlike in the United States, Canada hasn’t passed any official consumer laws regarding lemon cars.  In some states, like California, there are laws stipulating that car manufacturers must reimburse or repurchase a car if it is a lemon. In Canada, car owners don’t have that protection at all.

Take a look at Crystal Walls of Quesnel, B.C.  In August 2011, Ms. Walls experienced very severe problems with her new Dodge Journey, problems that left her with a powerless car in the middle of highway (with full speed traffic coming up from behind her!) When her car was checked out by an expert mechanic, it was important that the problems were much deeper than a mere tune-up. Unfortunately for Ms. Walls, neither the dealership where she bought the car from nor the manufacturer took responsibility for the defects in the vehicle. Ms. Walls was left with a new car that didn’t work and $26,000 less in the bank.

Without official laws, it’s difficult for consumers to stay protected. Why do you think there haven’t been any lemon laws passed yet in Canada? Without any laws, how can a car owner protect themselves from getting stuck with a lemon?

Categories: Canadian Auto Industry News
Tags: Canadian automotive laws

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