Know Your Lemon Law Rights – Key Provisions You Shouldn’t Overlook

The federal Magnuson – Moss Warranty Act and its state counterparts offer lemon law protection for buyers of new vehicles. If you believe your car meets the qualifications for a Lemon Law claim, immediately contact a Lemon Law attorney.

You Have 30 Days to Opt Out

How does lemon law work? Lemon law is an excellent tool for consumers to utilize if they have a defective vehicle. However, it’s important to be familiar with the details of these laws to properly use them to your advantage.

For example, some states require a manufacturer to pay a consumer’s taxes and fees for purchasing a new motor vehicle. Other states don’t include this in their statutory lemon laws. A law that does not allow for the reimbursement of these expenses undermines the purpose of lemon law and makes the process less user-friendly.

Furthermore, a lemon law should provide a clear method for consumers to have their vehicle’s problems arbitrated. This helps to ensure that all relevant facts and circumstances are considered when determining whether or not the vehicle qualifies as a lemon.

Lastly, a lemon law should provide that manufacturers must honor a warranty claim by providing a refund or replacement vehicle. It should also state that a refund or replacement vehicle must be the same model and year as the original. This prevents manufacturers from denying a refund or replacement for a vehicle that contains aftermarket parts or has been rebuilt.

You Have a Right to an Oral Hearing

The word “lemon” is well known in consumer circles as a slang term for a defective car, and every state has some lemon law to protect consumers from buying such cars. These laws typically remedy consumers who purchase new or used vehicles that turn out to be lemons by providing them with a refund or replacement vehicle from the manufacturer.

An oral hearing is required under most lemon laws to ensure that the manufacturer’s representative can explain why the vehicle does not qualify as a lemon and should be repurchased or replaced. While many consumers assume that a reasonable number of repair attempts will be sufficient to qualify as a lemon, this is often not the case.

Frequently, we deal with clients who finance their vehicles and must continue to make payments on the automobile while it is in the shop for an unreasonable amount of time. In these situations, a settlement from the manufacturer can allow a client to use their settlement funds to pay off what remains on their vehicle loan and free themselves up to shop for a vehicle that does not have the same persistent problems as their previous one.

You Have the Right to Represent Yourself

Suppose you buy or lease a car, truck, motorcycle, or RV that repeatedly needs to be repaired and is out of commission for more than 30 days due to serious defects. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation under state and federal Lemon Laws. A Lemon Law attorney can help you determine whether or not your vehicle qualifies for a refund, replacement, or cash settlement.

Manufacturers have well-trained legal teams that can often intimidate unrepresented consumers. A lemon law attorney can level the playing field and ensure you are noticed and treated by a legal team that knows all the tricks they can use to minimize your payout.

They will then work to negotiate a settlement with the manufacturer. If they cannot resolve your case, they will be ready to prosecute to fight for the maximum payout possible for your situation. 

You Have the Right to a Trial

Once you’ve been unable to fix your defective vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts, you have the right to bring a lemon law lawsuit against the manufacturer in court. If successful, you may be entitled to a full refund or replacement of the vehicle, and you’ll also be eligible for compensation for any damage to your credit and financial situation due to being saddled with such a defective car.

The state lemon laws are designed to ensure that manufacturers of consumer products that include written warranties comply with and honor the terms of these warranties, protecting citizens against auto fraud. Federal lemon laws also provide broader protections for consumers than state law, including allowing for the recovery of attorney fees when a case is successfully brought against a manufacturer.

Most states require that a consumer first participate in the manufacturer’s arbitration program before suing in court over claims of breach of warranty, misrepresentation, fraudulent trade practices, odometer rollbacks, and salvage title issues. Having an experienced lemon law attorney in your corner can help you get the best results, whether or not your claim goes to court.

It’s important to remember that any attorneys you work with to handle a lemon law claim must be specifically qualified in this area of the law. Avoid general practice firms that make their money on the volume of clients they take and have little interest in delivering real justice for their clients.