Do Computer Purchasers Need Lemon Aid?

June 16, 2012

Fifteen years ago, state legislatures around the country had either recently passed, or were considering, legislation to protect consumers from purchasing “lemon” cars. In 1985, “[d]isputes over automobile warranties constitute[d] some of the most intractable problems that [arose] between manufacturers and consumers.” By 1993, all fifty states and the District of Columbia had passed lemon laws for cars. State legislatures passed these laws partially in response to considerable litigation over warranty disputes. Ten years later, the question of lemon aid resurfaces as at least three state legislatures consider whether computer purchasers, like car buyers, need protection.
Because computers have become such a common part of daily life, federal and state legislatures should safeguard consumers by providing “lemon aid” for computer purchasers. Until statutory protections are in place to protect consumers from lemon computers, consumers can take steps to help protect themselves from computer manufacturers.