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Top 10 Biggest Lemon Cars



When referring to cars, a “lemon” is one that is found defective not long after it has been purchased. A lemon in car terminology is, therefore, basically any motor vehicle with several severe issues. Any product with numerous flaws that are considered too severe is also known as a lemon. Caused by either by errors during the automotive building process in the manufacturing plant or flaws in design, new vehicles may have workmanship defects or mechanical flaws which may not be visible or manifest immediately. These can range from materials with chemical or structural flaws used in the vehicle’s manufacture or from one or several parts incorrectly installed to tools used to build the vehicle.

The Lemon Laws

In the United States, the consumer is protected by legislation that mandates labeling such vehicles as “lemons” after the same problems come up despite multiple attempts at repair. “Multiple” meaning thrice in a row over a relatively short period of time in which previous attempts at repair did not resolve the problem. Defects can also cause new vehicles to be “out of service” for 30 days or longer for repairs.

These so-called “lemon laws” compel vehicle manufacturers to buy back or exchange them, at their own expense, the defective vehicles which came out of their assembly lines. A process called “vehicle title branding” refers to the warning issued to subsequent buyers of the vehicle’s problematic history. Simply put, buyers are told to “proceed at your own risk” when they purchase vehicles with unresolved issues.

Top 10 Biggest Lemon Cars

LCCalifornia already compels vehicle manufacturers in the state to brand vehicles previously reacquired with these branding titles which are exported out of or imported into California. Below is a list of the Top Ten Biggest Lemon Cars and the problems they exhibited after purchase. Note that these issues have been filed with the NHTSA or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

1. Mazda MPV

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Spark plugs were defective.
  • Tranny slipping and oil leak related to transmission.
  • Exhaust manifolds have cracked.
  • Engine had a run-on
  • Transmission problems.
  • Shift shock.
  • Vibration issues.
  • OEM tires have been worn out excessively.

2. Kia Sportage

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Parking brake.
  • Gasoline storage.
  • Fuel system.
  • Interior systems.
  • Suspension system’s control for automatic stability.
  • Electrical systems.

3. Ford Excursion

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Radio issues.
  • Remote problems regarding the keyless entry feature.
  • Problems with the middle seat’s bench.
  • Wiring of the electrical system.
  • Control module of fuel injection.
  • Door locks.

4. Ford Windstar

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Transmission issues.
  • Stalling and diving under conditions of hard braking.
  • Failure of head gasket.
  • Ignition switch issues.
  • Gasoline problems.
  • Fuel system issues.
  • Suspension is very soft and wallows when taking corners.

5. Mercury Cougar

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Problems with the fuel system.
  • Electrical system issues.
  • Hydraulic and service brakes.
  • Gasoline issues.
  • Battery cable problems.
  • Transmission issues.
  • Unintended acceleration problems.

6. Honda Passport

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Issues with the ABS or anti-lock braking system.
  • Problems with the generant.
  • Issues in the fuel pump.
  • Problems with the side air bag’s valve-less inflator modules.
  • General problems with the side air bag’s inflator modules.

7. Honda S2000

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Problems with the gear box.
  • Problems with the vehicle speed’s cruise control.
  • Issues with the headlights.
  • Problems with the power train’s manual transmission.

8. Mitsubishi Eclipse

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Hydraulic issues in the service brakes.
  • Hydraulic issues in the master cylinder of the foundation components.
  • Rims are bent and have cracked.
  • Bearing rattle problems.

9. Isuzu Rodeo

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Problems in transmission.
  • Starting issues.
  • Issues with the electrical wiring’s harness.
  • Hydraulic problems with the service brakes.
  • Problems with the brake warning switches.
  • Fuel system issues.
  • Gasoline delivery issues.
  • Fuel pump problems.

10. Ford Explorer

The vehicle’s main problems include:

  • Issues with the air bags.
  • Problems with the power train’s automatic transmission.
  • Visibility issues regarding the motor of the windshield wiper and washer.
  • Exterior lighting.
  • Issues with axle assembly regarding the axle shaft’s seal.

Before You Purchase a Secondhand or Used Car

If you are contemplating on buying a secondhand or used car, there are a few things you should know. There are some manufacturers who have not reported lemon law car buybacks from the authorities or concerned agencies. These manufacturers hold the buyback vehicles in the inventory for some time and then funnel them right back through a so-called “dealer only” routine inventory auctions.

What happens in these auctions? Those buyback vehicles reenter the regular used markets as legitimate vehicles to be unknowingly purchased by innocent customers. To avoid this unscrupulous practice from continuing, customers are advised to bring their own trusted mechanics for pre-inspection of the vehicle intended to be purchased.

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