Cash For Clunkers got me a brand new clunker!

So, I was really pumped when I found out that my old Minivan qualified for $4500 clunkers rebate.

After a little bit of debate, I chose a pontiac G3. I had my doubts about buying a Pontiac, but since the only other car I was looking at seriously was the Chevy Aveo 5 (it was cheap, and i was poor.) The Pontiac was a nice step up from the Aveo and my mind was made up.

So, I left the dealership with my brand new Pontiac, happy as could be… until I turned on my blinker to make a left hand turn.

The car alarm went off, and no amount of button smashing on the console or the key, turning the car on/off or putting the key in the door lock, would stop the alarm from going off.

It finally stopped after a few minutes, and I was on my way once again. The dealership had just closed so I went home… only to have it happen a couple more times that night… Once, involving a few members of Providences finest.

Back to the dealership it went the very next day (with 4 instances of left turns featuring my car alarm.)

That was two weeks ago this friday.

At what point to I point out to the dealer, that I’ve purchased a car that has been in my possession for approx… 10 hours since I’ve purchased it? Lemon Laws i know, but what is the likelyhood of that.

I’m sorry to hear of your problems with this new car.

Unfortunately, you did not do sufficient due diligence prior to purchase, because the Pontiac G3 is not a “step up” from a Chevy Aveo. It IS a Chevy Aveo, albeit with slightly different trim. These cars are built by Daewoo, a Korean manufacturer that declared bankruptcy and was bought out by GM, and these cars are noted for below-average reliability and overall mediocrity.

However, the die is cast and you have bought the car, so you have to deal with the situation at hand. Utilize the warranty, and keep taking the car back to the dealership for repair. Be sure that all repair invoices clearly state the problem that you want them to fix, and be sure to save all of those invoices. In the meantime, research the terms of the Lemon Law in your state by going to While the specifics vary from state to state, in general a dealership has three attempts to remedy the same problem before you are eligible for Lemon Law protection. In some states, you can qualify for a cash refund of ALL of your expenses, but in other states you have to settle for a “replacement” vehicle.

Start learning your rights under the terms of your state’s Lemon Law, and be prepared to act. Remember that the law deals with the manufacturer, not the dealership, so all correspondence on this matter should be with GM, and should be sent via Certified Mail. In many states, the websites for the Attorney General or the Office of Consumer Affairs will have helpful pointers on how to compose your “lemon letter” to the manufacturer.

Good luck with this situation!

Most states require atleast 3 attempts to fix the problem before it’s declared a lemon. However, not every state follows that rule, some pretty much tell you “you bought it, it’s your problem now”. Google your state’s lemon laws and hope that they fixed the problem this one time. If not, and it IS a lemon, note that you probably won’t get your choice of vehicles, you get an exact match of the vehicle you bought.

Remember to get each visit documented by the dealership. If you qualify for a lemon law return in the future, you will need the receipts. What state are you in? And just because there was one problem does not mean there will be more. Get the problem fixed under warranty and hope for the best.