Lemon Law Advice

01.15.16 - Broken Car

The term Lemon Law is used to describe a vehicle that does not work properly or in accordance with the standards set in place by the vehicle manufacturer. When you buy a car, truck, van or SUV you typically receive some form of warranty, which is much more if the vehicle is new. These laws are in place to protect you, the consumer from entering into a bad deal where the vehicle cannot be repaired after only being driven a short distance or before the manufacturer’s warranty expires, but there are some things you need to know about the Lemon Law to help you in dealing with a manufacturer or dealership.

How many times should you expect to allow a vehicle to be repaired, or attempt to be repaired for the same problem? The standard for this is to allow for twice with safety issues and four-times for all other issues. If after these attempts the vehicle cannot be repaired or the company refuses to attempt to repair the vehicle you need to start the litigation process and hire a lawyer that deals with Lemon Law cases in order to help find you the right conclusion to your case.

It’s important during the process of having your vehicle repaired that you have the dealership or repair shop create a record of your visit and give you a printed copy. Even at your first visit you should do this, just in case you need to build a case toward litigation. Every single receipt becomes part of your case, making it very important that you have all of them and keep these documents to reference and explain your case when it comes time to go in front of a judge or ask for a settlement in your case.

Why should I hire an attorney and should I expect a speedy settlement? The car company that you will be attempting to extract money from already has their own legal team with years of experience dealing with similar cases. You need to have the right lawyer for your case in order to bring it to the settlement or judgement you desire. As for a lawyer there are two things to think of; one is to find one who will work on a contingency basis and not by the hour and second you need to look at the National Association for Consumer Advocates to find the right lawyer for the job.

As for timeframe, you can expect your case to take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The goal is to have everything paid for you and even a bit of a cash award given as well if possible. This won’t be an easy or speedy process, but the good news is more than ninety percent of these cases are settled out of court and never see the inside of a court room. The goal is to have the settlement that will work for you in your case, which is different for everyone, which is certainly another factor when it comes to litigation under the Lemon Law.

Hopefully you will never need to invoke the Lemon Law, and a vast majority of us never have to, but if you do it’s important to understand the right process. Even if you feel confident the dealer who sold you the vehicle you drive will be able to repair any problem you have it’s important to have a record of every visit to the dealer for repairs just in case you need to eventually file any form of litigation against this dealer because of the failures of the vehicle they sold you.

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