Vehicle owners in Texas have a lot to consider when they buy a new vehicle. Gas mileage is a big concern, as well as the various terrain that might be regularly traveled or the fact the vehicle must be a transport for long commutes versus short adventures.
This is not to mention the everyday details that any vehicle buyer must face: how many people must be regularly transported by the vehicle and what distances must it travel? Is it going to be a commuter vehicle that is traveling primarily on highways or one that will need to be sturdy in the face of off-road adventures?
Will the cargo storage be a significant factor for adventures or business outings?
Any of these and a number of other answers must be determined before purchasing a new vehicle. Even then, you may realize there is something you did not take into account.
When purchasing a vehicle in Texas, there is one reassuring fact, however. The Texas Lemon Law exists to protect you, as a vehicle owner within the state. This is provided the vehicle was purchased within the state’s boundaries and the vehicle meets the various parameters of a Texas Lemon Law case.
Working with a reliable Texas Lemon Law Attorney increases the chances of a successful outcome. You may not be familiar with the numerous details of a Lemon law case, as you have been fortunate to avoid owning a defective vehicle previously. However, just because this is a new experience for you does not mean you have to go through the fight and the effort to find resolution on your own. Below are a few more ways to increase your chances of winning your Texas Lemon Law case.
As a vehicle owner, there are many times when keeping accurate records is going to come out in your favor. From the day of purchase, it is wise to keep track of all maintenance records, service reports and purchases related to the vehicle.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here.
The effort to keep accurate records and have documentation for repair efforts and regular maintenance visits is important in any situation but particularly so if the vehicle turns out to be a lemon. Having the documentation on hand when meeting with a lemon law lawyer allows them to give you a better idea of how to move forward and the chances of success with the case.
Do you know the criteria that a vehicle must fit in order to be considered a lemon in Texas?
First and foremost, it must be purchased with a warranty from the dealer or manufacturer. It must be within the first 24,000 miles driven or first 24 months or ownership.
Next, the vehicle must show a defect that significantly impacts the value of said vehicle and also puts the driver and/or passengers at risk if they continue to attempt to drive the vehicle from Point A to Point B.
If the vehicle has a defect and has been taken to a reputable mechanic four or more times to resolve that issue with no results (and the documentation exists to prove this), the vehicle fits the criteria of a lemon.
Also, the Texas Lemon Law covers cars, trucks, SUVs, electric vehicles and RVs and Towable Recreational Vehicles.
One final criteria for a vehicle that is considered a lemon under the Texas Lemon Law is that the vehicle has sat idle for 30 or more days (not necessarily consecutively) since the vehicle was purchased. For the vehicle owner, though, it is important to note that any days when the vehicle was idle and a loaner vehicle was provided do not count toward this total.
For an increased likelihood of success and less struggle to complete a lemon law complaint, reaching out to a lemon law lawyer is a smart move at the start. They have the experience, and they typically have an experienced support staff, so they can ensure that things are in order prior to submitting the complaint. This allows the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, who oversee the complaints filed under the Texas Lemon Law, to move forward with the complaint with all information at their disposal.
It is also valuable to have a professional on your side for these proceedings, as they will be able to move things forward and be vital in a mediation meeting. Manufacturers tend to attempt to sway things in their favor at such a meeting, so it helps to have a professional on hand to counteract these efforts.
Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form
The complaint process can be initiated online by filing the claiming and paying the related fee. The complaint is assigned to staff within the Lemon Law department at the Texas DMV and the staff member assigned to oversee the case considers the evidence and schedules a mediation. The parties are given an opportunity to resolve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction at the mediation.
If the mediation is unsuccessful, the next step is a hearing before an examiner, where both sides present their case. Then, the examiner has a chance to consider the evidence and 60 days to present a written decision. That decision can be appealed if one of the parties involved feels it is warranted.
For the auto owner who receives a decision in their favor, the examiner also chooses one of three options to resolve the situation. The first option is repair of the defect in the vehicle in question.
The next possible outcome is a replacement of the vehicle with one of comparable value. This takes into consideration the number of miles driven and payments made on the vehicle but does not factor in any aftermarket additions made.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law process.
The third option is for repurchase of the vehicle by the dealer or manufacturer. Again, this takes into account the number of miles the vehicle has been driven and any payments made on the loan. However, it does not consider aftermarket changes made to the vehicle by the owner while it was in their possession.
Owning a lemon vehicle does not have to mean a long future of expense and hassle. There are ways to resolve the issue in a timely manner, and those ways tend to involve hiring a top lemon law lawyer to help move the case forward.
There are 150,000 lemon vehicles sold in the US each year. Obviously, through the law of averages, it stands to reason that lemons will be sold in Texas. The reassuring thing is that the Texas Lemon Law is in place to protect you in the event that you are the unwitting buyer of one of these lemons.
Lemons that have been repurchased or replaced by the manufacturer do have the designation on the title moving forward. Therefore, if you happen to purchase a used vehicle, be sure to check to make sure it does not have the lemon designation on the vehicle’s title.
This can be helpful for future owners and will be protection for those who purchase used vehicles because that is what fits the budget. No one should be saddled with a lemon vehicle.