Does the new car you recently bought have a major issue? Is it the second or third time that you have had to get it repaired for the same issue?
Although you may be frustrated, you have options besides sending the car back in for repair. Specifically, you may be covered under either (a) the federal Lemon law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) or (b) the Texas Lemon Law. These laws are designed to protect consumers when buying a new car and who are tired of having the same issue replaced multiple times.
A “Lemon” is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as an automobile “that is unsatisfactory or defective.” In reality, though, your car does not have to be breaking down to fall into this category; and for a more thorough analysis an attorney would be able to help you make this determination. However, this applies to more than just vehicles also.
The Magnuson-Moss Warrant Act states that any product costing $25 or more with a written warranty can be considered. That means that a large quantity of consumer goods are covered and if you are having a problem, you may have some options at your disposal. The fineprint, however, states that to qualify these items must have been repaired more than once under the specific factory warranty.
There are actually certain parts of the Lemon law that are specific to Texas, and it is important to note these rules. The types of vehicles that are covered in Texas include cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes, ATVs, and demonstrator vehicles. However, towable recreational vehicles must be titled and registered in Texas to be eligible. Texas Lemon law also covers used vehicles IF they are still under manufacturer original warranty.
Once you have determined that your vehicle is covered under the Lemon law, there is a specific complaint process that must be followed. There is usually a filing fee with these types of forms that involve a complaint about a new vehicle.
Some general tips for anyone that has suspicions of a Lemon are as follows:
1 The most important thing is to act fast before the warranty expires
2 It is highly recommended to seek legal advice, as there are many deadlines and procedures to consider
3 You must report the defect directly to the manufacturer or the dealer wherever the car was purchased (in some cases both are required)
4 Return the vehicle to the dealer/ manufacturer and let them attempt to fix the issue
Hopefully you will not find yourself in this situation, but it does happen – and the law was created to protect consumers. Some automotive defects can be dangerous, resulting in injuries and product liability lawsuits.
Keep in mind that Lemon laws do vary from state to state and can become complex cases, depending on how many times the vehicle or item has been ‘repaired’ and what the problems are. Documentation is truly a key to this process, and saving receipts and work /repair forms will be key to your case.