Consumer protection laws, or Lemon Laws, can vary from state to state, but they all have certain similarities. They provide basic protections for consumers who have unwittingly and in good faith purchased a defective vehicle from an auto manufacturer. Each state’s laws lay out in detail how consumers can move forward with a Lemon Law claim.
We recommend always contracting with an experienced Lemon Law Attorney in your area when filing a Lemon Law claim. These legal professionals often focus on this specific area of the law, so they are well-versed in the specifics of the law and how it applies to you. They are also familiar with how car company lawyers will try to derail or delay lemon law claims, and know how to counter them.
Even with a seasoned lemon law attorney from your state, you should educate yourself as much as possible about the claims process. Here are some common terms used in lemon law claims that you should know.
Under most state’s lemon laws, a “substantial defect” is required for the vehicle to qualify as a lemon. A substantial defect can be any item that impairs the vehicle’s safety, use or value. Obvious examples would be faulty brakes or steering. A broken radio knob or sagging headliner would not qualify. However, the term “substantial” is relative and open to disagreement. You can bet a car company lawyer will use that ambiguity to argue against a lemon law claim if at all possible.
Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts
Lemon laws often include language that requires consumers to allow for a “reasonable number” of repair attempts by an authorized dealer before a vehicle can qualify as a lemon. Here again, “reasonable” is a term subject to negotiation. The car manufacturer may think doing without your brand new car five or six times while they attempt repairs is “reasonable;” however, they are not the ones being inconvenienced. This is an area where attorneys will waste time splitting hairs to delay lemon law claims.
Arbitration is a process where an independent third party hears your case and makes a decision, outside of the courts. Some state lemon laws may recommend or even require arbitration. Some car manufacturers may pressure consumers into seeking arbitration instead of filing a claim in the courts. Arbitration can work; but it is often a means of delaying or derailing lemon law claims. You are entitled to a hearing of your case in a court of law, the opportunity to present evidence that your vehicle meets the qualifications for a lemon and to get what the law says you deserve.
Lemon Larry Can Help You with a Lemon Law Claim
Lemon Larry is not a lawyer or team of lawyers. We are a consumer service that is provided FREE to you. Our goal is to provide assistance to people just like you who have purchased a new car, truck or SUV that turned out to be a lemon. Most people are not familiar with consumer protection laws, so we seek to bridge the gap.
If you think you may have a lemon, take Lemon Larry’s brief online assessment to see if you qualify. If so, Lemon Larry will connect you with an experienced Lemon Law Attorney in your state or city that can explain more about filing a claim and your next steps.