Chrysler car owners will still enjoy legal protections from serious vehicle defects - rights that are guaranteed under their states' "lemon laws" - even after the car giant re-emerges from bankruptcy under new ownership. That's the not-so-sour result of an agreement reached this week between the new Chrysler LLC and state attorneys general.
Chrysler vehicle owners and consumer rights groups had questioned whether the new owners of Chrysler would "honor Lemon Law rights for vehicles sold or leased by Chrysler prior to the sale of the company," according to a News Release from Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, but after negotiations with a number of state attorneys general, the new group (led by Fiat Group SpA) "agreed to honor the Lemon Law rights consumers had under Chrysler before the buyout."
What are Lemon Laws? In every state, "lemon laws" give car owners legal rights to free repairs if their new (and newer) vehicles have serious defects -- like mechanical problems -- that are typically covered under a new car warranty. Depending on the severity of the car's problems and the number of repair attempts made, car owners may be legally entitled to a new replacement vehicle under their state's lemon laws. Learn more: State-by-State Lemon Law Information.
Lemon law rights of Chrysler owners are just one of the legal issues raised by the car company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in April, and its planned re-emergence under new ownership. Last month FindLaw's Injured blog reported on the shaky status of some personal injury lawsuits filed by Chrysler owners.