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Can I return a car that I bought if it has mechanical problems?

There are both federal and state laws to protect you if you’re sold a car with serious mechanical issues, known as lemon laws. These laws, though, vary by state and situation.

Most states, including the District of Columbia, have lemon laws protecting you if you’re sold a defective product, including a new car or vehicle. Some laws require manufacturers to fix problems at no cost if the issues occur shortly after you purchased the car, or they give you the option to get your money back if the product fails to meet quality and performance standards.

Lemon laws generally only cover used cars or vehicles if they’re still under warranty when the problem happened or if the problem or defect couldn’t be fixed after a reasonable number of repairs.

These laws vary by state and situation, but you can contact your state attorney general or the Federal Trade Commission for more information and to find out whether they might apply to your situation.