MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Two-thirds of lemon cars started to show symptoms of problems after only one month of purchase, with issues ranging from a check engine light to a non-starting vehicle, according to a survey conducted by YourMechanic.
The survey results captured the experience of owning a lemon from car owners who went through the experience firsthand. The results proved why it's important to get a pre-purchase inspection before every vehicle purchase – even for those bought from a dealership.
Survey respondents defined a lemon as a newly purchased vehicle that presented several manufacturing defects potentially affecting the safety, value, or use of the car. Survey results were self-reported by 522 respondents in the United States.
Of car owners who reported they had purchased a lemon, key findings include:
65 percent of lemon cars came from a dealership.
- 44 percent of respondents purchased from a used car dealership.
- 35 percent of respondents purchased directly through a private owner.
- 21 percent of respondents purchased from a new car dealership.
More than 60 percent of lemon owners spent $5,000+ on the faulty vehicle.
- 36 percent of respondents spent up to $5,000.
- 27 percent of respondents spent between $5,000 and $10,000.
- 18 percent of respondents spent between $10,000 and $20,000.
- 15 percent paid more than $20,000, up to $50,000, or more.
- 4 percent do not remember how much they paid.
41 percent of lemon owners broke down while driving on the road.*
- 34 percent noticed an issue and took the vehicle to a mechanic.
- 16 percent reported their vehicle wouldn't start.
- 15 percent reported a friend or family member noticed an issue with the vehicle.
- 32 percent reported another problem, with examples ranging from frequent dashboard indicator lights turning on, ongoing repairs, and unusual sounds.
68 percent of lemon cars started to show signs and symptoms within one month of purchase.
- 36 percent of car owners noticed symptoms within one week.
- 32 percent of car owners noticed symptoms within one month.
- 20 percent of car owners noticed symptoms within six months.
- 12 percent of car owners reported symptoms up to or after one year of purchase.
The most commonly reported problem included an issue related to brakes.**
- Brake problems were the most commonly reported issue among lemon car owners.
- Additional parts that frequently caused problems among survey respondents included the starter, suspension system, engine, radiator, transmission, battery, carburetor, and heating/cooling system.
The most extreme issues reported by lemon owners included an instance where all of the doors fell off of the vehicle, a large oil leak, dishonest emission test results, inaccurate odometer readings (in one case with an instance of a 100,000+ mile discrepancy), faulty airbags, a convertible with a broken top and windows, and unreported collision damage.
In a second survey, YourMechanic asked consumers*** who had recently purchased a used car if they had an inspection completed of the vehicle before completing the purchase:
- 72 percent of respondents who purchased within the last three years did not have a third-party conduct a pre-purchase inspection.
- 76 percent of respondents who purchased within the last three years reported they did not know a third-party service was available to conduct an inspection prior to purchase.
YourMechanic, the nation's leading mobile car repair network, offers a pre-purchase inspection for car shoppers starting at $90.
Inspections are conducted by a mobile mechanic who visits the site of the used vehicle, and conducts a full 150-point inspection to determine the current state of the vehicle and identify what repairs or future issues may arise based on the age and condition of the car. All inspections come with a report, which is shared with the customer immediately after completion.
YourMechanic has completed thousands of pre-purchase inspections to date, helping customers to make informed choices before purchasing a vehicle. According to the Edmunds 2016 Used Vehicle Market Report, the average price of a used car is $19,189.
YourMechanic is the industry leader in mobile car repair, offering more than 600 repair, maintenance, and diagnostic services. YourMechanic is available in the top 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. YourMechanic connects mobile mechanics to customers who seek affordable, convenient, and honest car repair services at their home or office, seven days a week. Mobile mechanics enjoy flexible hours and higher pay than at a shop or dealership. Founded in 2012, YourMechanic has secured $32 million in funding. YourMechanic won TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco in 2012 and holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, YourMechanic is funded by SoftBank Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, Ashton Kutcher, Data Point Capital, and others. For more information on YourMechanic, to book a service, or to view current career opportunities, visit www.YourMechanic.com.
* Some respondents reported more than one discovery source.
** Respondents were able to report one or more than one problematic part.
*** Results from a different respondent group than the primary survey.