What can I do if the car I purchased a month ago stops working?

I bought a car and a month later the engine stopped working on a major highway and had to be towed. I did the financing through American Acceptance and now they won’t roll the loan over to another vehicle and no one will help me. What can I do?

Chloe Jenkins · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
I’m so sorry to hear that this happened to you. It sounds like you may have purchased a lemon. The definition of the word varies from state to state, but generally, a lemon is a car sold with a significant defect that is often not disclosed to the buyer and shows itself shortly after purchase.
The first thing you should do is check the lemon laws in your state as they can vary greatly. There are two things, however, each state seems to loosely agree on is that you have the right to obtain a refund or replacement vehicle if the car meets the following conditions:
  • There is a substantial defect that disrupts the function of your car. This can be faulty brakes, a shotty engine, or even broken seat belts.
  • The defect must occur during the warranty period and must be traceable to the assembly of the vehicle.
  • The car must have undergone a reasonable amount of repairs. The definition of reasonable will also vary by state.
If you think your car qualifies as a lemon, your next step should be to report the issues to your dealership and the manufacturer and document all repairs done.
Your financier, American Acceptance, may be unwilling to rollover your loan due to negative equity following the engine damage or any number of other factors. Luckily, you may have the ability to go around them and appeal straight to the manufacturer.
Write a letter or an email to your car’s manufacturer to begin the buyback process if the repairs fail to fix the problem. If you run into further issues or the dealership or manufacturer tries to stall the buyback process, you may need to get a lawyer involved.
If you are successful and are issued a replacement car, be sure to shop for a new
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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