It is inevitable that some mass-produced goods will have flaws when they are released onto the market today. Customers who make purchases have the right to believe the item is appropriate for the use for which it was intended. In other words, a blow dryer should turn on and adjust correctly in accordance with its own features, an electric toy train should have all of its parts and function as a toy train, etc.
Today, when Americans buy 307,000 motor vehicles on average each week, there is a huge opportunity to take advantage of those buyers. Customers anticipate leaving behind their old car’s mechanical problems when they buy a brand-new vehicle and avoiding inheriting the problems of a used vehicle. Unfortunately, customers who received a brand-new vehicle with significant flaws were helpless to force the manufacturer to perform costly repairs or replace the vehicle.
Lemon Rule requirements
According to federal law, The Following are available for assistance with the lemon law:
The manufacturer has attempted to fix the issue “a reasonable number of times” (typically three or four, but the court decides) without success, or you’ve experienced multiple issues with the same vehicle that render it unusable.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here.
Within the first year or two that you owned the car, attempts were made to fix the issues.
For at least 30 days, you haven’t been able to use the car because of repairs (not necessarily consecutively).
Keep in mind that The Following are available for assistance with the Lemon Law in addition to adhering to the federal lemon law’s requirements (and any state-specific Lemon Rule):
If you want to receive compensation under a new or used car lemon law, you should only take your vehicle to the dealership for repairs. The manufacturer cannot be held liable for the work if you take it to a different mechanic.
Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form.
Maintain thorough records of each repair. You will need to prove that the manufacturer had numerous opportunities to fix your car but was unable to do so if the matter ends up in court. You must also demonstrate how long the issues and failed repairs to your car prevented you from using it.
Think about working with a lawyer. Teams of attorneys who specialize in handling lemon law claim work for automobile manufacturers. You may feel more at ease and possibly get a better outcome if you have a lemon law expert on your side. If you prevail in your lemon law claim, the defendant—typically the carmaker—will pay your legal fees.
Before you take matters to the court
The contract you signed when purchasing your car may have an arbitration clause in it. By doing so, you consent to resolve any conflicts through arbitration, a process that involves negotiating a settlement or agreement rather than going to court.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law complaint process.
In some states, you might be required to use an arbitrator that the manufacturer has chosen and retained. In any case, even if your case does not go to trial, it is a good idea to have an experienced lemon law attorney on your side.
Even though winning a lemon law case is difficult, it is possible. The best chance for success is to learn as much as you can about the procedure, keep meticulous records, and work with an attorney from Allen Stewart.