Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

We handle cases across the United States. Allen Stewart is licensed to practice law in Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona.

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Lemon Law Cases: Mediation vs. Litigation

Mediation vs. Litigation
Image Source :

Owning a vehicle is a great privilege. It also makes things easier, particularly in the great state of Texas, where travel typically involves time and miles covered just to visit friends or accomplish your daily to-do list. Knowing that you can slide the key in (or set the key fob nearby and push the button) and your car will start and run reliably is a great feeling.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has a special department that oversees lemon law cases. You might not be aware of this if you have never had a lemon before. However, with over 100,000 vehicles sold in the US each year that end up being lemons, now is the time to learn about the process of filing a lemon law complaint.

First, let’s discuss the benefits of having a special department at the Texas DMV that oversees lemon law case processing. Instead of having to deal with lengthy waits in the state litigation system, you get to file online for this complaint process. The first step is mediation, which can be helpful or not (depending on the actions of the opposing side and whether or not you have representation).

Litigation is a different process and is not overseen by the Texas DMV. This can lead to further complications and inconvenience.

For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law claim questions, click here.

Mediation vs. Litigation in lemon law cases

Litigation is time-consuming, can be delayed over a period of years due to the number of cases in the system at any given time, and can be messy.

Below we share a list of pros and cons when weighing litigation vs. mediation in the case of lemon law situations.

Mediation vs. Litigation in lemon law cases

Pros:1. Quicker and less expensive than litigation

2. More informal and less adversarial

3. Higher success rate for resolving disputes

4. Preserves the relationship between the parties

1. The court has the authority to make a binding decision

2. The outcome may be more favorable to the plaintiff

3. The plaintiff has the right to a trial by jury

Cons:1. May not be appropriate for all cases

2. The mediator may not have the authority to make a binding decision

3. The outcome may not be as favorable as litigation

1. More expensive and time-consuming than mediation

2 More formal and adversarial

3. Lower success rate for resolving disputes

4. Can damage the relationship between the parties

The best process for the automobile owner will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Mediation can lead to a positive resolution, but the auto owner should have legal representation to avoid getting bullied into taking a less than satisfactory deal by the auto dealer/manufacturer.

In the event that mediation is unsuccessful, a hearing in front of an examiner is the next step. Both sides are given a chance to present their case, and the examiner has 60 days to return a written decision. That decision can be appealed by either side if they find it unsatisfactory.

Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form.

Meanwhile, if the case is found in favor of the auto owner, the vehicle may be repaired at the expense of the auto manufacturer, replaced with one of similar value, or repurchased by the auto manufacturer. In that event, the auto manufacturer is required to have it titled to show it was labeled a lemon.

The amount paid for repairs, miles driven while owned by the auto owner, and the amount of payments made are all considered in the value of the vehicle if it is repurchased or replaced. The repair bills may be reimbursed even in the event of a repair by the manufacturer. It is dependent on the case and the determination of the examiner.

The Texas lemon law:

  • Covers cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs and towable recreational vehicles
  • Covers electric vehicles as well
  • Vehicles must be purchased new within the state of Texas.
  • Vehicle must be covered under original warranty from the dealer
  • Must be within the first 24,000 miles or 24 months of ownership – or within the six month window after the first of those two milestones

In order to be considered a lemon, the vehicle must have been taken in for four or more repair attempts of the same problem. That problem must significantly impact the safety of the driver and/or passengers and also decrease the value of the vehicle in a marked way.

The vehicle must be out of service for 30 days or more (not necessarily in a row) and a loaner vehicle must not be provided for those periods. Also, the vehicle manufacturer must be made aware of the defect and given an attempt to address the problem for the vehicle owner.

Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law complaint process.

Once these criteria are met, it is wise to document the various repair attempts and notification of the manufacturer. The complaint can be filed online through the Texas DMV. There is a fee to file (we forgot to mention that earlier). However, once that fee is filed, it goes to the right department and the process is underway.

Remember to keep track of your receipts and service reports. These will come in handy for a lemon law case. It is also a good idea to make records of phone conversations with the dealer or manufacturer. It is better to communicate via registered mail, but that isn’t the most reliable way to connect anymore.

Talk to your lemon law attorney for help gathering info and planning for your lemon law case. You need to be ready for anything, and you need to know what you’ll be up against both in mediation and in the hearing if the case progresses to that point.

Your lemon law attorney brings experience and an experienced staff to your case, which increases your odds of succeeding in resolution of your lemon law situation. Instead of getting stuck with an unsafe vehicle, you can find a way to get restitution and get back on the road immediately.

The lemon law attorneys of Allen Stewart P.C. have represented hundreds of clients just like you: stuck with a defective vehicle through no fault of their own. They have the experience and tools needed to see your case through to a successful conclusion. Contact Allen Stewart P.C. today.

This information brought to you by Allen Stewart P.C.

Contact Us Today
Custom web design by:Big D Creative