When most people speak of Virginia lemon law, they are referring to a statute titled, Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act. Under the lemon laws of Virginia, you are entitled to all of your money back, including title, taxes, tags, attorney fees, interest on your loan, accessories you've put on the vehicle, and any repair costs that you've endured since you purchased the vehicle. Be sure to keep a log and keep all of your receipts and invoices so that you can readily make your case in court.
How to Initiate a Lemon Law Case in Virginia
Of course, you must be able to prove that you have given the manufacturer a reasonable number of repair attempts. Then, you may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, lemon laws in Virginia only apply to brand new vehicles or used vehicles where the manufacturer warranty went into effect 18 months ago or less. This means that you'll need to file suit within 18 months of purchase.
In addition to providing the manufacturer with a reasonable number of repair attempts, you'll need to also write a certified letter to the manufacturer notifying them of your problem. At this point, you will qualify for compensation if your defect is a significant one. In other words, a faulty sunroof will not be covered by lemon laws in Virginia. It has to be something that affects the driving or performance of the vehicle. For example, a transmission would qualify.
How Many Times Do I Have to Attempt to Repair My Vehicle?
In other states, the lemon laws are a little more straight-forward on this subject. For example, you'd have to repair the same issue four times within one to two years, and the problem is still present. In Virginia, it's configured a little differently:
- One time in the shop for a life-threatening defect, and it is still unrepaired.
- Three times in the shop for a significant defect, and it is still unrepaired.
- 30 total calendar days in the shop while under the manufacturer's warranty.
Don't Confuse Auto Fraud and Lemon Law
In Virginia, auto fraud and lemon law are two separate laws that often get confused. Lemon law is a specific statute that was passed in 1991 that gives consumers a pathway to recovery if they have purchased a vehicle that cannot be repaired within a reasonable number of repair attempts.
On the other hand, auto fraud involves a misrepresentation of the vehicle in question. The problem isn't that the manufacturer or its authorized dealer couldn't fix it within a reasonable period of time. Auto fraud is when something has been misrepresented to you, and you purchased the vehicle relying on information that the seller told you that turned out to be untrue, and had you known about it, you would have never purchased the vehicle from them. As a result, you have suffered financial or physical damages from this fraud.
If you would like to pursue a remedy under Virginia lemon law, contact Allen Stewart Corporation. Get the representation you need to make your case properly and get the justice you seek. Lemon laws exist to protect people from being ripped off by car manufacturers. With an experienced attorney in your corner, you can prevail against these auto industry giants.