No one wants a lemon of a car. So it's not surprising that the most auto gripes are over the sales of new and used cars, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
More than 2 out of 5 auto complaints filed to the FTC last year were over new-car sales, while more than a third revolved around used-car sales. In total, consumers submitted 77,435 auto-related complaints in 2011.
Consumers also took issue with car rentals and car leasing, auto loans, parts and repairs, gas and warranty plans, and services.
Car buyers should always do research first before buying, says Jim Gaz, a senior director of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates.
"Investigate the vehicle you want in terms of price and features and accessories available," Gaz says. "That way, you're armed with information when you go into the negotiating process."
Still stuck with a defective auto?
The Center for Auto Safety provides information on common auto problems, defects, vehicle recalls and lemon laws. It also maintains a database of consumer auto complaints and provides an attorney referral service.
The Better Business Bureau Auto Line helps car owners achieve resolutions for defective vehicles that are still under warranty and provides summaries of state lemon laws and auto manufacturer contact information.