First things first, lemon laws have nothing to do with actual lemons. In fact, they relate to the purchasing of damaged goods, namely cars. If you had purchased a car that had repeatedly broken down and failed to meet the standards upon which you were promised, you may then file for a lemon law claim. Lemon laws are American state laws that are unique to the United States, with almost not enough counterparts found in other regions and countries. So, if you have gone through a similar ordeal, where your car had repeatedly failed to meet certain standards, and you want to file a lemon law claim, here is how you can handle it.
How Does the Lemon Law Work?
Whether you have heard about lemon laws or you have not, you must know that they are only applicable if you have purchased a vehicle that is still under warranty and you are only having problems in getting the warranty to fix it completely and remedy the issue. They are a rather delicate form of law which requires its seeker to follow through with an airtight set of steps if they ever hope of getting their vehicle replaced. In certain areas, like California, lemon law provides important protections, but they mean nothing unless you decide to assert your rights. The group of legal wizards at Neale Fhima handles lemon law claims with expertise, helping clients win their lemon law claims by preventing delays which may hamper clients’ ability to bring a successful claim. This includes obtaining favorable settlements and defeating many of the major manufacturers in court.
Do Your Research
With each state having its individual state laws, your approach and the requirements which you will have to follow may differ depending on where you live, though, in the most part, they are majorly similar. Still, you must do your research and gather a comprehensive understanding of how your state operates with regard to the lemon law. This will include determining whether or not your state’s law covers your type of vehicle. As you will find, some states extend the coverage to leased cars, while other states have removed certain types of vehicles from being covered by the law.
What Is Your Car’s Mileage?
Depending on your car mileage will you be able to determine if you can move forward with the claim, since it determines whether or not you are eligible. In most states, eligibility lies somewhere in between a range from 12,000 miles to 24,000 miles, though, some states have removed a mileage limit from the conditions that make you eligible. Again, it depends on the state you are in.
How Old/New Is Your Vehicle?
This comes with the mileage condition. Some states have the lemon law claim applied depending on how long you have owned your vehicle. Some areas may provide you with a shot at a claim as long as the vehicle has not passed the one year marker since purchase. Other states may have that extend to 2 years, and some states do not care about time, and only care about whether the vehicle is still under warranty. This is all part of your research.
How Many Times has your Vehicle Undergone Repair?
There are two parts to this segment. First one requires you to review your repair history, while the other is about keeping records on each repair. Both are crucial to the process of succeeding to make the claim. Seeing as how the lemon law becomes applicable when a newly purchased vehicle has seen the insides of a repair shop more than it has seen you, most states will have the law applied if the vehicle was repaired 2-4 times for the same problem while it is still under warranty.
Keeping records becomes equally as important as reviewing the repair history as it will act as the evidence you submit to the court. So it is better to keep all of your original receipts to strengthen your claim. However, if you do not own possession of the original receipts, it is best that you go back to the shop your vehicle got fixed in and secure a copy.
The Dealer Must First Be Given a Reasonable Opportunity to Fix the Problem
Before you may proceed with a claim and have your vehicle replaced, most states will ask you to give the car dealership a reasonable opportunity first. It is defined as a period of at least 2-4 attempts to fix the existing problem. Once this is done, you may ensue by notifying the dealership that the car is indeed a ‘lemon.’ You will include all relevant information in this notice, by describing the mechanical issue, giving them a list of dates of when your vehicle was repaired, informing them that your vehicle is believed to fall under the lemon law and concluding your notice with a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).
An Arbitration Hearing Is Always Valid
Seeing as how this type of hearing is much quicker and, not to mention, much cheaper as well, it will usually be advised by your attorney to take this route first before hitting the highway to hell, which is going to court.
Suit Up! You Are Going to Court
If they do not heed your notice and continue further wrongdoings by dismissing any attempts of resolving the issue, you will then have only one move left to do. Hit them with a lawsuit. File a complaint and let your attorney, the evidence and justice do the good work for you.
As you can see, the process is quite a lengthy one, and a very delicate matter which requires a number of preparations beforehand, though it is usually best you try to have them compensate you before you take them to trial. However, if they fail in doing so then trial becomes the only way. With the right legal counsel, enough evidence and after having gone through all the stages required by your state, you can be sure that you will beat them at court, and win the dispute.