An Introduction to the “lemon” law

The manufacturers have experienced employees and attorneys to guide them through this process. In some states, the manufacturers’ attorneys help draft the law you’re relying on. One way to protect your consumer rights is to consult an attorney with experience representing owners of defective vehicles and other products. For a free claim evaluation, please call 888-929-WISE (888-929-9473).

What is a lemon law?

A lemon law is any state law that provides consumers who own non-conforming vehicles, that the vehicle’s manufacturer can’t repair, a process to recover compensation, including their attorney fees. Failure to follow your state’s lemon law procedure will likely prevent a consumer from obtaining a repurchase or obligating the manufacturer to pay their attorney fees.

What are my responsibilities as the purchaser?

To benefit from the lemon law, a consumer must follow the procedures set out in the statue. Generally, that means, within the time period set out by the law, the consumer must give the manufacturer written notice (usually by certified mail to a specific address) describing the nonconformities or defects in and give them an opportunity to repair the vehicle. The lemon law may also require you to submit your claim to review by private or state (or both) meditation before you can file suit.

What are the manufacturer’s responsibilities?

The manufacturer is allowed a reasonable amount of time and number of efforts to repair the vehicle before the lemon law remedies apply. The number of attempts varies from state to state, but a vehicle that is out of service due to warranty repairs exceeding the period of time or for the number of repair attempts set out in the law (not including any delays that cannot be attributed to the manufacturer) is considered a lemon.

Are there any other criteria in determining whether a car is a lemon?

Some states do not apply their lemon law to leased cars, used cars, RVs, or vehicles not primarily used for personal or household use. Please check your statute or consult with an experienced attorney for more exclusions.

Does the manufacturer have to pay my attorney fees?

Generally, you can be reimbursed for some or all of your attorney’s fees and costs in a lemon law lawsuit if you win your case. The right to attorney fees is included in the lemon law statutes in most states, but the consumer must follow all the procedures established in the lemon law before a court will make an attorney fee award.

To determine for certain whether or not your car is a lemon and find out what you can do to make sure your rights as a buyer are protected, you should consult an attorney with experience handling these cases.

If my car is a lemon, what am I entitled to?

If your car is found to be a lemon, the manufacturer may owe you a refund (full or partial) of the purchase price, a new/replacement vehicle, or a cash settlement. In addition to a refund or cash compensation, the manufacturer may be required to pay all your attorney fees.

How many repairs attempts are necessary before the manufacturer’s warranty may have been breached?

Generally, more than three tries for the same problem, or 30 days in the shop for any one problem, or more than four repairs of a variety of problems — even if it the ‘official’ lemon law doesn’t apply to your situation.
If you’re on your third repair attempt or vehicle boat or RV is still in the shop after 15 days, you may benefit from a free claim evaluation, please call 888-929-WISE (888-929-9473)

What if my problems seem to be fixed, but it took more than four or more repair attempts?

Even if your vehicle’s issues may appear to be addressed, you probably still have a breach of warranty claim that entitles you to money, without voiding your remaining warranty. Your vehicle’s limited warranty is a promise to fix defects in a reasonable number of attempts, and all a potential buyer has to do is look at the warranty history to know that your car has a ‘history’.

Will accepting a settlement void my remaining original warranty?

No. Accepting a settlement does not automatically void your warranty.

Do I have to pay a retainer?

No. If we can accept your claim, you’re not charged any attorneys’ fees, unless you agree to settle your claim. If there is no recovery, you owe no attorneys’ fee or any other money.

What if the lemon law doesn’t apply to my situation?

An attorney will be able to ascertain whether the lemon law applies to your car, truck, boat or RV, and if it doesn’t an experienced attorney knows that there are other remedies available to protect the consumer when the ‘lemon’ law doesn’t apply.

To schedule a free consultation and case review, please call 888-929-WISE (888-929-9473) or complete the case review form.

Use of this web site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Sending an e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. This web site includes information about legal issues and is for informational purposes only. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. We expressly disclaim all liability in connection with the legal information contained herein. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Do not act upon any information provided herein without first speaking with a qualified attorney or you do so at your own risk.

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