What Are Your Rights If A New Car Is Faulty?

What Are Your Rights If A New Car Is Faulty?

Last Updated on March 7, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Consumer Rights Act Protection: The Consumer Rights Act 2015 provides crucial protection for car owners dealing with faulty vehicles, offering remedies such as refunds or repairs within specific time frames.
  • Documentation is Vital: Maintaining detailed records, including timelines, photos, and correspondence with dealerships and manufacturers, is essential for effectively addressing car issues and advancing complaints.
  • Recourse Options: If a dealership denies a claim of a faulty car, car owners have recourse options, including contacting state authorities, filing complaints with consumer protection agencies, or seeking legal action.

There’s nothing like the feeling of buying a brand new car. The smell of the leather interior, the new car smell, and that sense of accomplishment as you drive off the lot. But what if your brand new car has problems? What are your rights if a new car is faulty?

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, if a vehicle goes wrong within the first 30 days of ownership, you can reject it for a full refund. If a fault develops after those first 30 days but within the first six months, the dealer gets one chance to fix it.

Fortunately for car owners dealing with a faulty car, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 exists to protect consumers.

If the dealer is unable to resolve the problem, you’re entitled to a full refund, or a partial refund depending on the amount of use the vehicle has received.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know if you are dealing with a faulty new car.

What Are my Rights After Buying a Faulty Car After 30 Days?

If your brand new car has problems after 30 days, but within six months of purchase date – don’t worry. Contact the car dealer you purchased the vehicle from and request the problem be fixed or the vehicle replaced.

When it comes time for repairs, the dealer has one chance to fix your car. If they don’t succeed, you are entitled to a full refund or partial refund. However, this depends on how much usage the vehicle has received.

Vehicle usage will be taken into account when determining how much can or cannot be refunded.

What Are my Rights After Buying a Faulty Car After 6 Months?

Even if you buy a new car with all of its parts in perfect condition, there’s still the chance that something will go wrong within six months.

This means it is your responsibility as an owner to prove when and where any manufacturing defects appeared so they can be fixed free of charge by the manufacturer.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to get an independent expert to examine the car or component. Make sure to request a detailed written report about whatever is wrong with the vehicle.

Vehicle reliability research tool.

Maintain Detailed Records

If you’re ever in the unfortunate situation of having a car issue, make sure to document everything that goes wrong. Keep an accurate timeline and take photos so there’s no confusion later on. Contacting your local dealership immediately is vital; write down any and all correspondence with them as well.

It’s important to contact the car manufacturer so they can open a case for you.

Also, do some research to see if other owners are experiencing the same defects as you are. We offer a comprehensive vehicle dependability and safety search tool that will provide insights into owner experiences such as complaints, or any open recalls and class action lawsuits.

Use that data to advance your complaint with the dealer and automaker.

What’s Not Covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015?

The Consumer Rights Act cannot be used to reject a car if you’ve simply changed your mind about buying it. The dealer is not required, and therefore does not have any legal obligation, to rectify components that wear out due only with normal use – such as tires or brake discs.

What if the Car Dealer Doesn’t Agree There’s A Problem?

Meeting with the dealership manager and bring documentation with you to corroborate your claim that you’ve been wronged.

You’ll want to be as polite and respectful with the manager when presenting your case. However, since you already signed the contract, there aren’t many options available if they refuse to honor your request.

If the dealership manager denies your request, you may also choose to take the following actions: 

  • Contact your state attorney general’s office to discuss your options. 
  • File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. 
  • Hire an attorney to sue the dealership. 
  • Leave a bad review on the dealership’s website. 
  • File a complaint with your state’s consumer protection agency or the FTC

Final Thoughts: What Are Your Rights if a New Car is Faulty

Brand new car has problems? Good news is the Consumer Rights Act protects consumers from faulty goods and services.

If you’ve purchased a car with a fault, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 may be able to help you get your money back. Or provide compensation for any repairs that are needed.

Be sure to maintain detailed documentation of all correspondence and be persistent, even if you feel like giving up.

Have you recently bought or leased a brand-new car and suspect that it might be defective? Well, don’t hesitate to shoot us a message.

We’ll be more than happy to provide you with a complimentary evaluation: Is My New Car a Lemon Review

Or, tell us in the comments below–have you had to deal with a faulty new car? 👇

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37 thoughts on “What Are Your Rights If A New Car Is Faulty?

  1. Avatar
    Reply
    ROVHER GARIN
    May 7, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    I just recently bought a 2024 Hyundai Kona. The next day the engine light came on and all other red lights which is alarming for a brand-new car. Although we agreed that they will fix it, it’s been a month since I brought it back to the dealership. As a consumer, do I have the right to ask them to pay for my monthly payment of the car since I am not using it?

    1. Christopher Rossen
      Reply
      Christopher Rossen
      May 9, 2024 at 9:54 am

      Hi Rovher. No, do not expect your monthly payment be covered by the dealership or Hyundai. They should however provide a loaner.

  2. Avatar
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    Norman B Maas
    March 6, 2024 at 10:10 pm

    I just bought a Toyota Tacoma. one week after I bought it, dash lights flash off then on at random intervals, 4 times in 3 day, that I saw. The dealer said about 2 weeks to fix, new dash pod(speedo, tachometer, odometer) I contacted them today, they have no idea when the part will arrive, they believe that we are in line for the part. Less than 300 miles and they’ve now had it longer than I did.
    What are my options, can I request a replacement, I have a loaner Camry, but it’s not a truck. Thank you.

    1. Christopher Rossen
      Reply
      Christopher Rossen
      March 7, 2024 at 8:23 am

      Norman, you will need to work with the dealership to get the vehicle repaired. Unfortunately, parts are still on back order for many brands. Be patient, and it will get repaired. If when the part does come in and installed, and the problem persists, then you may have some options.

  3. Avatar
    Reply
    Kendra
    October 31, 2023 at 8:02 pm

    Looking for advice
    We bought a brand new off the lot 2021 Subaru ascent in sept 2021 in Maine. Our vehicle has had nothing but problems from the trunk not opening or closing, to the trunk hitting us in the head, electrical problems, seat sensors not working, tires wearing after just a few months, and so on. These problems started happening within 2 months of us having the vehicle. In less than 2 years we have had over 16 services on the vehicle. We are looking to see what our options are. We are from Maine. The subaru dealership is only giving us an option to trade it in for what it values but we have to pay the remaining of whatever vehicle we choose. This doesn’t seem right.

  4. Avatar
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    Kendry
    September 28, 2023 at 11:35 am

    I bought my 2022 Honda Civic hatch sport in December of 2021. A year later the hatch door started leaking water into the back. After contacting the dealership and waiting almost a month and a half to get my car fixed (they had my car the entire time and provided me a rental half way through), it was replaced and tested. Everything was fine until today, almost another year later and the hatch is leaking water into my car again. At this point I feel like the civic itself is defective, it just keeps happening. You think I can get a refund or another car? I’m in the state of Kentucky idk if the laws vary by state.

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      September 28, 2023 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Kendry. In Kentucky, the Lemon Law protects consumers who purchase new vehicles that don’t meet quality and performance standards during the initial 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. If a substantial defect arises within this period and is not rectified after four or more repair attempts, or if the vehicle remains out of service for repairs for over 30 days, it may be deemed a “lemon.”

      Additionally, even if the specific Lemon Law timeframe has lapsed, if a vehicle defect or issue, initially reported within this period, remains unresolved, the law might still provide protection. Beyond the confines of the Lemon Law, it’s important to note that if the vehicle is still under warranty(which it should be) this warranty should cover all necessary repairs or replacements for issues that surface during its duration. If the same defect was addressed within the protection period and recurs, there could be grounds for a claim. However, the nuances of individual cases vary, making it important to speak to a lemon law attorney.

      Also worth noting, I’m not seeing any complaints for this model over on the vehicle reliability reports tool: https://app.mycarvoice.com/trends/HONDA/CIVIC/2022/
      So it seems to me that your problem is isolated to your particular vehicle. Hope this helps!

  5. Avatar
    Reply
    Diann
    September 15, 2023 at 12:54 pm

    My husbands 2020 Ram1500 has 40,000 miles on it and has had injector problems twice. Just got it fixed and 3 days later another injector is bad. This will be our 3rd trip within 6 months. The first time was when the warranty had just expired. The company we got the extended warranty from will not replace all of them at the same time. Only when they go bad and we have to pay a $200 deductible every time. Could this be considered a lemon?

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      September 18, 2023 at 10:46 am

      I don’t believe so Diann. The failure needs to happen multiple times during the original manufacturers warranty period. But I would consult with a lemon law attorney to determine proper course of action.

  6. Avatar
    Reply
    Dulce Tupayachi
    August 28, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    I bought a Volkswagen 2023 atlas this April and 4 months later the car is giving me some issues, like at 30-35 miles the car pulls, waiting for green light the car completely turn off, so I took it the nearest dealership and they found that there’s no codes but the left front frame is rotten, and they asked me if I have any car crash because the fire blanket it’s also damaged, what can I do, the dealership said that this won’t be cover by the warranty, my car is always park in the garage when it’s no in use, I used my car every day, but they said that maybe been parked for long period and that could be the reason.

  7. Avatar
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    Renee Diaz
    August 27, 2023 at 11:16 pm

    I just purchased a 2023 suburban. It had maybe 70mi on it. The audio cut out and it couldn’t store my phone. This was the first day of having the vehicle. I talked to the dealership and onstar with 9 reps and everyone said they have never heard of this?! Luckily I found a YouTube video that showed me how to do a soft reset to connect my phone. I later learned from the owner of the dealership that Chevy has an “audio glitch” they’re working on but haven’t done the update yet?? Basically the blinker the radio and all sound just shuts off. Next the vehicle was constantly running the fan. The dealership took my vehicle and gave me a rental. This was day 2. They told me on day 3 that everything was fine and to come get my car. I had my 8yr old and my infant in the car when I got on the freeway and the engine started overheating. The gas pedal stopped working ON THE FREEWAY and the AC shut off and the dash said it was due to high engine temps. They gave me a new rental and told me they would have it fixed before the weekend. Tomorrow is Monday. I had my new car for 12hrs before the whole thing had several issues. I told them that I just didn’t feel comfortable keeping it even if they “fixed” it. Can I cancel the whole contract and get my money back that I put down?

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      August 28, 2023 at 8:22 am

      Renee, you need to begin treating this vehicle as it is a lemon. Meaning, after several attempts to fix but still broken, you have the right to pursue a return and get a full refund from the automaker. The first step is to reach out to the manufacturer’s customer service to file a complaint. Next, document all communications, issues, and repair attempts for your records. If all attempts fail to fix the vehicle, contact a lemon law attorney.

      Be sure to check out our vehicle reliability report tool to track similar issues. This may help your case.
      https://app.mycarvoice.com/trends/CHEVROLET/SUBURBAN/2023/

  8. Avatar
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    jerry
    August 27, 2023 at 11:03 am

    A close friend bought a new 2022 vw Tiguan {a year ago). An intermittent problem happened 6 times. Twice to the owner, 3 times in a week on a trip to a family member & once a friend. Upon light acceleration from a stop, expecting it to move slowly as it does. it took off quickly and hyper accelerated. {6 times in 6 weeks) car is paid for. Due to it being intermittent shop cant find it. No recalls or similar issues found. Fact it happened. And want to trade it in due to safety on that intermittent issue. of course take as little loss as possible. What is your best insight? Thank you.

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      August 28, 2023 at 6:52 am

      Jerry, I am seeing reports of Powertrain and Electrical systems problems for this vehicle using the vehicle reliable report search tool: https://app.mycarvoice.com/trends/VOLKSWAGEN/TIGUAN/2022/ This just might be a sign of widespread defect.

      Here’s what we recommend. Have your friend reach out directly to the manufacturer and request that they initiate a claim with the dealership. This will begin to record the amount of times the vehicle was in for repair for the same issue. If it gets to the point the vehicle cannot be fixed, you can pursue a buy back lemon law claim.

  9. Avatar
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    ingrid
    August 25, 2023 at 11:43 am

    Hi Christopher, I got a brand new Honda Pilot 2023in June trailsport and is the second time that the engine light is on, they ” fixed” once and just less than 2 months after the light is on again but this time they said that they will keep the car for several weeks as they do not known when the repair parts will be available. is anythig I can do to get my car replaced ? I am in canada

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      August 25, 2023 at 12:44 pm

      Hello Ingrid. I’m not familiar with how the laws in Canada work with regards to defective vehicles. I would reach out to an attorney regarding your situation.

  10. Avatar
    Reply
    Stephanie
    August 23, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    I have a 2020 Dodge Durango we have had 4 Radios put in the care cause they malfunction. We keep getting the run around about it. I think it something electrical but they so no its just the radio. Key fobs do not work all the time. Radio changes stations all the time. Doors would lock or anything one day. open the door the radio changes this is after the radios have been changed. What do we do?

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      August 23, 2023 at 2:57 pm

      Stephanie, not seeing a widespread trend of electric issues with this make and model year: https://app.mycarvoice.com/trends/DODGE/DURANGO/2020/
      With that said, if you have a warranty then press the dealer you purchased it from to investigate this problem further. If still under warranty, which it should be, take the vehicle to another Dodge dealer for review. Make sure you document and get receipts for all work.

  11. Avatar
    Reply
    Nancy
    August 14, 2023 at 4:01 pm

    2022 Ford F250 pause when the automatic transmission shifts from 3rd to 4th. It’s been to the dealer four times for this issue. The first time they claim they could not duplicate problem, the next 3 times they claim there is debris in the trans fluid. It’s an on going issue. I’ve contacted the manufacturer who gives me as much run around as the dealer.

  12. Avatar
    Reply
    Rick
    July 9, 2023 at 9:08 pm

    I have just purchased a 2023 Nissan Frontier and has a horrible nose from the windshield at 60 to 70 mph. Others have had the same issue. You can tape the top of the windshied with masking tape on the outside and it fixes the noise. Should I let them replace the whole windshield with the electronics in or have them replace the vehicle. It only has 350 miles on it. Should I not drive it anymore until it is fixed, refunded or replaced.

    1. Christopher Rossen
      Reply
      Christopher Rossen
      July 14, 2023 at 7:26 am

      Rick, work with the dealer on this issue as much as you can. Document each visit and work order. Put in a call to Nissan corporate about this noise, as they may not be aware of this problem. And finally, submit a complaint to the NHTSA. With enough complaints, they may investigate the problem and work with Nissan to issue a recall.

  13. Avatar
    Reply
    Beatriz
    May 21, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    Hi, I purchased a brand new 2023 Nissan rogue, it has been less than 5 months and I already taken it to the dealer to fix it once yet I received the car back and the same issue appears again. The check engine line is on, I constantly get a message saying “check position of shift lever” and the lever gets stuck and I’m unable to change it. How many times do I have to get it “fixed” for the lemon law to apply? And what options do I have? It’s really frustrating and such a waste of my time.

    Thank you

    1. Christopher Rossen
      Reply
      Christopher Rossen
      May 23, 2023 at 7:24 am

      Beatriz, depends on your local laws. Please email me direct and I can provide further assistance.

  14. Avatar
    Reply
    AJ
    April 13, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    I made a purchase on a new 2023 Mazda CX-50 that has had issues since I first purchase it 2/28/23. The concerns at hand are that the car trembles once the speed is 60MPH. The car is pulling to the left. The AC has intermittent moments of blowing out hot air, & the dash is discolored. I have been to the car lot now 4Xs as of today, 4/13/23. My feeling is that I am being blown off. In respects to the dash, all persons that I have been in contact with are able to see the same thing that I see with the naked eye, however, the same defect is not appearing in the several pictures taken by both me and the maintenance manager. The weights in the tires have bn replaced and still all the same concerns are present. With all that is in place, including the fact that I just got low fluid indicator, am I eligible for a full refund?

    1. Christopher Rossen
      Reply
      Christopher Rossen
      April 13, 2023 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Aj. Sounds like you may have a case here. Have you documented all issues and have the dealer clearly addressed each in written form? You will need this. The discoloring on the dashboard could be a materials defect, but often hard to prove. I’m not seeing any complaints logged on our vehicle problem trends analyzer tool yet, but my guess is – if what you are experiencing is widespread, these issues will soon show up.

      What kind of balancing of the wheels are they doing? The low fluid indicator is concerning. Oil or Coolant?

  15. Avatar
    Reply
    Chris
    March 27, 2023 at 5:34 pm

    Recently received my brand new 2023 vehicle (in MA) and it makes a vibrating noise when going 15mph. Since this happened within the first 30 days of purchase, can/should I request a refund/replacement? I had to wait 4 months for this car so if they were to get a replacement, would they be responsible for giving me a loaner until the replacement arrives?

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      March 29, 2023 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Chris. Yes, if the dealership has made 3 attempts to fix the issue but has not been successful, you now can pursue action such as a buy back or lemon law. First, check you states laws on this before moving forward.

  16. Avatar
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    Valerie L
    March 25, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    I bought a 2022 Honda Passport in April of 2022. I have 8,700 miles on it 4 months after having it it started making a crackling now with the radio on and off then it intermittently cuts off my radio when it is on leaving no sound or connection. They’ve seen it 3x already for this issue and supposedly fixed it as of yesterday when I start the car today the crackling is worse than before. The blind spot sensors are also intermittently working, the service department says these Honda’s have wiring issues.. I’ve given them multiple opportunities to resolve the issue and it’s not been resolved. I’m paying for a new car but my old one from 5 years ago worked better. Am I able to start the lemon law process?

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      March 27, 2023 at 10:26 am

      Hi Valerie. What state are you in?

  17. Avatar
    Reply
    Kelley Stein
    March 15, 2023 at 8:13 am

    2023 Chevy Tahoe. A month after purchase, all dash lights came on. Took to dealership- they kept for a week and “corrected” all the problems. Fast forward three months, same problem with all the dash lights, had on star run diagnostic check “An issue has been detected in the Fuel Management System used to maintain, control and monitor fuel consumption”, “a misfire condition has been detected” and also “An issue has been detected in the Exhaust Emissions System which monitors and controls exhaust gases released into the air from the engine. If the vehicle is continually driven with this light on, the emission controls might not work as well, the vehicle fuel economy might not be as good, the engine might not run as smoothly and could lead to future repairs”.
    Beyond aggravated. What are my options? The dealership is 40 miles away, do I force them to come pick up the car so there’s no further damage caused? Do I start to push for them buying the car back? Just very disgusted.

  18. Avatar
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    Zoe
    March 9, 2023 at 10:26 pm

    My jeep wrangler that’s not even 12 months old and has no more then 9k miles, is now in for repair for the 3rd time in 3 months and reported different faults each time. The latest is now 3 weeks in and after initially a sensor issue, it’s now had a whole new cam belt and parts replaced. I love the car but not at the cost and now overall 5/6 weeks in without it

  19. Avatar
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    Jana
    March 8, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    Do I buy the car I ordered….They were bringing it to me from dealership. First there was a factory recall. After recall addressed with software update I got a call that the AC stopped working. They are saying as of right now that it is the compressor. Should this be a Huge Red Flag? Help!!! To buy or not to buy.

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      March 9, 2023 at 10:19 am

      Hi Jane. Is this a new car or preowned? If new, yes I would cancel the order. If preowned, what type of warranty does the car come with? Also, what are the stipulations for cancelling the purchase due to mechanical problems?

  20. Avatar
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    Cecil sullivan
    February 22, 2023 at 7:16 pm

    I am dealing with a faulty 20014 4xe Jeep three months after I bought it and still without the vehicle fixed as to date. I am frustrated!

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      February 23, 2023 at 4:06 pm

      Cecil, we have heard these have issues with the electric drive only mode. Is that the issue you are experiencing?

    2. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      March 1, 2023 at 10:07 am

      Cecil, there is now a class actoin lawsuit of this issue. See this post for more info: Jeep eTorque Woes: Owners Seek Justice in Lawsuit Against FCA

    3. Avatar
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      Debbie
      August 20, 2023 at 8:31 am

      My Honda crv hybrid sport 2023, I bought 28 days ago and realize that the audio system is really @@. The sound is bad. On top of that the rear bumper is loose from one side. They said for that they will install another in a month or two from now. They ordered it. What to do about audio?

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