While many people use the term “lemon” to describe their vehicle, the term has a very specific meaning. State lemon laws generally refer to recently purchased or leased vehicles with defects that the manufacturer or authorized dealership cannot correct despite a reasonable opportunity. However, the exact nature of lemon laws differs from each other and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Lemon laws provide a leveling of the playing field to put consumers on a more comparable footing with large national vehicle manufacturers. However, consumers must understand what constitutes a lemon to take full advantage of the laws.
query to know if you have lemon
the lemon law firm of stern law, pllc offers a free case evaluation so we can gather the relevant facts, review your purchase contract and repair orders, and explain your lemon law rights. If you are unsure if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, Ken Stern can assess your situation and advise you of your rights. Call Lemon Law Attorney Ken Stern at 844-808-7529 or submit a case evaluation form.
lemon laws and related consumer protections
While there are a variety of laws that consumers can rely on to seek legal remedies for their chronically defective vehicle, state lemon laws often offer the most efficient and effective method of obtaining compensation. Lemon Laws are powerful statutes that specify when the manufacturer has breached its written warranty. The statute also removes barriers to seeking judicial relief by authorizing the award of attorneys’ fees to prevailing consumers.
In simple terms, any nonconformity, defect, or combination of defects that substantially impairs the safety, use, or value of a new vehicle, which is not corrected within a reasonable number of attempts or a specified period of time, constitutes a lemon. . lemon laws entitle consumers to a refund of the purchase price or a new vehicle.
state specific lemon laws
All fifty states and the District of Columbia have some type of lemon law, although the terms, scope of protection, and eligibility requirements are not uniform from state to state. The lemon law in most states entitles a consumer to receive a replacement vehicle or a refund from the automaker if a substantial defect cannot be repaired within four attempts. these consumer protection statutes also consider a vehicle to be a lemon if it is out of service for thirty days within the first 12 or 24 months or between 12,000 and 18,000 miles.
Security defects are treated differently in most state lemon laws. Due to the risk of personal injury or wrongful death, vehicle manufacturers are typically only given two chances to fix the problem.
A number of factors generally dictate a consumer’s success under a state lemon law: (1) legal representation by an experienced lemon law attorney; (2) maintain good records regarding communication with the vehicle manufacturer and dealer regarding the problem; (3) ensure vehicle repair order forms are accurate; and (4) compliance with any notice or arbitration requirements.
magnuson-moss warranty law
This federal statute protects consumers who purchase any product priced over $25 if the item comes with a written warranty. the law is drafted to prohibit manufacturers from charging consumers with patently unfair warranties. The statute also removes the financial hurdles to suing a vehicle manufacturer by including an attorneys’ fee switching provision. This provision allows a consumer who prevails in a claim under this law to have the defendant pay his attorney’s fees.
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC): Consumers can use the UCC in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. the law refers to contracts for the sale of merchandise, which includes motor vehicles. this statute also gives consumers the right to a replacement vehicle or a refund. The disadvantage of using this law is that the UCC does not provide a definition. this lack of clarity means that the judge must decide whether the manufacturer should provide a new vehicle.
importance of record keeping when filing a lemon law claim
Because the lemon laws entitle the manufacturer to a certain number of attempts to repair a vehicle defect, the content of certain documents will be extremely important. When you take your vehicle to the authorized dealer for repairs, you want to make sure that all of your complaints are well noted. the dates the vehicle was dropped off and picked up, as well as the mileage, must also be accurate. While Ken can often obtain these documents by subpoena, the best practice is to keep all repair orders. We also recommend keeping a diary and calendar of all appointments and correspondence with the manufacturer and dealer.
do you have a lemon? – talk to a lawyer today
We appreciate the opportunity to discuss your situation and review your purchase agreement and repair order forms. If you still have questions, you can contact us for answers about your particular circumstances. call ken stern at stern law, pllc at 844-808-7529 or submit a confidential case inquiry form today.