7 On Your Side
Battling with the lemon law
NEW YORK (WABC) -- If your new or used car is having problems you may have a lemon on your hands.
But one Queens lady was in a financial squeeze after her used car conked out.
"There are no words to describe how I feel because it's been really frustrating," said Moncy Choy, car owner.
Moncy Choy is financing a car that she says is defective and dangerous.
"The engine would just smoke," Choy said.
For a year, it's sat in her friend's driveway idle.
"You just can't drive it," Choy said.
More than a year ago, Moncy bought a used Mini Cooper from Mayor's Auto Mall. The next day she says she had problems.
She brought it back to the dealership for repairs five times.
"They said they were going to fix it, five times later, still wasn't fixed," Choy said.
Moncy had to buy another car so now she's forced to finance two cars.
"What did you start to realize Moncy?" Eyewitness News' Nina Pineda asked.
"That I have bought a lemon," Choy said.
Most states, including New York and New Jersey, have lemon laws for new and used cars.
"It's not easy to pursue a lemon law case?" Pineda asked.
"No it's not," said John Giamalvo, of Edmunds.com.
In New York, your car is considered a lemon if within two years and 18,000 miles of purchase either your car is out of service a total of 30 days for reason of repair, or if the dealership can't fix a problem after four tries.
"You have to be very specific so that all four times to qualify for a lemon law, it has to match exactly," Giamalvo said.
Armed with strong documentation and pictures of the defects, Moncy took the dealership to arbitration and won, but she hasn't collected.
"How much are they supposed to refund you?" Pineda asked.
"The full amount which is around $18,000," Choy said.
Moncy says she's sent requests for refund to the dealership five times.
"They were refusing my mail, they were refusing my phone calls," Choy said.
So 7 On Your Side called Moncy's dealership.
It said it was about to appeal the arbitrator but after our call it backed down issuing her a full refund for more than $18,000.
The dealership said it doesn't remember receiving calls or certified mail from Ms. Choy and that the reason she never got her refund is she didn't reach out to their attorney as she was instructed to do.
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