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Lemon Law Perspective: a comparison of Chevrolet’s Aveo and Tata Motors Ltd’s really cheap car

The 2008 Chevrolet Aveo has an EPA estimated rating of 24/34. It has a 1.6L 103 horsepower engine which gets you from 0 to 60 in a whiplash inducing 10.8 seconds. Standard equipment includes air conditioning (A/C). This vehicle can be yours for only $9,995 (base MSRP). Or — if you haggle — perhaps for a bit less. In the Houston and Austin area, that’s about all the new car you are going to get for under $10,000 (with the exception of arguably the Kia Rio). At minimum, the Aveo will be covered under the Texas lemon law in the event that there is a problem with its manufacturing.

But, cheaper cars are being produced.

Recently, Tata Motors Ltd. of Mumbai India announced that it would soon unveil a new car that would cost $2,472.18 (100,000 Rupees, as of 9/18/07). No name has been revealed yet. These will be manufactured at a plant in West Bengal.

This car is to have an engine with a displacement of .6L, generating 33 horsepower. Before you run and break open your piggy bank to see if you have enough pennies to buy one of these, be warned, this car will not conform to European safety and emissions requirements and is unlikely to meet US safety standards either. (Tata does claim that it will pass a crash test, but just what test was not specified).

In the unlikely event that you did procure one in the US and found it to be defective, you might have some difficulty holding Tata Motors Ltd. to the same standards that you are to which you are entitled to under existing Texas lemon law, products liability law, and consumer warranty law. While Tata will soon have dealerships in Kenya and Nigeria, it seems it had not opened for business in the US yet.

If you have a new car that is a lemon and you are within the state of Texas, then you have several possible avenues to obtain recourse. If you are in India, I would be unable to help you, but here is a start – good luck!

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