| Lemon Law
“lemon lawsuit” – taking it to Court?
too many consumers are under the impression that in order to
have their vehicle repurchased or replaced under their state’s
Lemon Law, they must “go to court.” This is far from the
fact. “Going to court” is the “last resort” when all
other means of “settling” a case have failed.
also use the term “court” and “win” in the same
sentence. While “winning” at court case is the desired
outcome, a consumer rarely sees a courtroom in a Lemon Law case.
consumers often do not realize is that when you hear the words
Lemon Law, it is that the word law follows the word lemon.
What this means is that a consumer must not only be able to
understand the law, but also enforce it. For this reason
alone a consumer should consider calling a Lemon Law attorney in
their state to find out what their rights are under their
state’s Lemon Law. Upon review of the case, if the Lemon Law
attorney’s services are required, the consumer knows that they
will have a lawyer enforcing the law for them. Click
here for a listing of lemon law attorneys in your state.
law – Quick Reference Guide
laws offer protection for buyers of new cars, trucks, motorhomes,
and motorcycles. State lemon laws provides different
options to the consumer and manufacturer.
For cars and
trucks that qualify under a states lemon law, the manufacturer
must offer to replace or repurchase the offending “lemon”
vehicle. The qualifications and restrictions regarding
"replacement" vehicles will vary by state.
manufacturers will print warranty books that contain
“instructions” for consumers who think they may have a lemon
vehicle that qualifies under their states lemon law.
Consumers must remember that these lemon law “instructions”
or “steps to follow” are what the automobile manufacturer
wants you to do, and is NOT necessarily the required steps or
procedures for utilizing the lemon law process. For example,
many manufacturers warranty books will attempt to direct the
consumer to attend an arbitration hearing to "resolve"
their lemon law claim. Arbitration and your lemon law rights
should be discussed with a lemon law attorney in your state
before considering utilizing arbitration services, so you can
have a balanced viewpoint. Arbitration is optional in some
states. As an example, there is no requirement under the
California lemon law to utilize voluntary
arbitration.. The consumer in California can, as an example, go
directly to a lemon law attorney for representation.
manufacturers' limited warranty coverage's in all states
are the same, though certain states may have specific additional
warranty rights afforded to the consumer. Each state
has different rules for when a lemon law claim can be filed. You
should read the lemon law statute for your state from
the links above. If the repeated problem continues to occur
after the expiration of the new car warranty in certain states,
you may still be entitled to protection under the lemon law. In
some states the manufacturer’s “extra power-train warranty
coverage” can be utilized as lemon law protection for
consumers. These extended “power-train” warranties often
provide for coverage as long as 100,000 miles.
Arbitration is a dispute
resolution process. The arbitration hearings that the consumer
attends are often nothing more than a way for automobile
manufacturers to be given “another chance” at fixing the
consumers vehicle. One of the potential decisions that can be
handed down at, or as a result of an arbitration hearing is
“the repair decision.” The automobile manufacturer’s
representative argues to the arbitrator that the manufacturer
should be "given an additional attempt to repair the
vehicle", or argues that they (coincidentally) “now have
a fix developed” for the consumer’s repeated defective
condition. The consumer often goes into a arbitration hearing
expecting a “win” or “lose” decision, but becomes
stunned when finding out that the outcome of the arbitration for
their lemon law claim is simply to return back to the dealer for another
repair attempt! The arbitrators are not lawyers in most states.
Participation in an arbitration is NOT required to pursue a
legal claim under the lemon law in some states. A consumer
should consider getting legal advice from a lemon law attorney
in their state before proceeding with the arbitration process.
Assistance Centers”. Consumers can call the manufacturer’s
toll-free “assistance center” (this phone number is usually
contained in the manufacture’s warranty booklet) and explain
that they feel they have a vehicle that qualifies under their
state's lemon law. The manufacturer’s representative will
typically assign a “case number” to the consumer’s
complaint. Often times the unknowing consumer thinks this
“case number” means that something will be done, especially
when followed by the potential language of “we are opening a
case number for you.” Consumers can be mislead that this is
the “opening” or “start” of a legal lemon law case. It
is NOT. A “case number” is often nothing more than a
reference number to the consumer that allows the automobile
manufacturer to establish a numerical file on the consumer which
can be used to index any future calls.
Trade Assist”. Consumers need to be VERY aware of this
“trick of the automobile trade.” Consumers who have been
having repeated problems with their vehicle will often seek
lemon law relief by asking their car dealer to “buy back” or
replace their vehicle. What the consumer does NOT know is that
the dealer does not have the responsibility under state
lemon laws to repurchase or replace the offending vehicle. This
is where “opportunity knocks” for the car dealer in many
instances. The car dealer “responds” to the consumer’s
request by “offering” to resolve the consumer’s dreadful
car problem by offering “to take them out of their car” or
“get you out of this car and into a new one” or similar
verbiage. This is NOT the lemon law. This is an example of an
opportunistic dealer sales tactic of making the consumer believe
that they are getting lemon law relief, but in reality the
car dealer is taking the offending vehicle in trade, and simply
selling the consumer another vehicle at a handsome profit to the
dealer! The dealer often hears consumers say, “You have to get
me out of this vehicle.” They are simply taking the customers
grief and turning it into profit, while the consumer loses part
of or all of their earned equity in their vehicle, often
resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars. This “dealer
trade assist” can often result in the dealer inflating the
price of the “replacement” car and putting the consumer
further into debt. Consumers should be very aware that the car
dealership is in business to make a profit and to sell cars. The
“dealer trade assist” is another example of how a consumer
can unknowingly THINK they are getting relief from the
lemon law, but are simply being taken advantage of.
What is the
consumer to do? Consumers can simplify the entire lemon law
process by utilizing the services of a specialized lemon law
attorney in their state. A qualified lemon law attorney
can offer a wealth of information and insight to the consumer.
Many lemon law attorneys even offer a free
"consultation" or "case review".
lemon law information brought to you by:
AutoLemonLawsUSA.com - 1610 Easter Place, Escondido CA 92029
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