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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.

Car Safety Ratings and Lemon Law

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Car safety is an important consideration whenever you are hunting for a new vehicle. You should look into the various reviews and ratings for safety features for the vehicles you are considering as a daily driver.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates vehicles either Top Safety Pick + (introduced in 2013) or Top Safety Pick. This rating is given each year for the new release of vehicles.

A Top Safety Pick + has good ratings on driver and passenger side overlap front, as well as moderate overlap front; original side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also has advanced or superior ratings for front crash prevention in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian testing. The ratings for headlights for these vehicles are either acceptable or good.

Meanwhile, the IIHS still provides a Top Safety Pick for the year as well. These vehicles have good ratings on driver and passenger side overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength and head restraint testing; acceptable or good headlights available as an add-on (don’t come standard) and advanced or superior rating for available front crash prevention for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian testing.

The Top Safety + Picks for 2022, according to the IIHS, are as follows:

Small cars: 2022 Honda Civic 4-door Hatchback, 2022 Honda Civic 4-door sedan, 2022 Honda Insight 4-door sedan, 2022 Mazda 3 4-door hatchback, 2022 Mazda 3 4-door sedan, 2022 Subaru BRZ 2-door hatchback, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid 4-door wagon, 2022 Toyota Corolla 4-door hatchback, 2022 Toyota Corolla 4-door sedan and 2022 Toyota GR86 2-door hatchback.

Midsize cars: 2022 Honda Accord 4-door sedan, 2022 Hyundai Sonata 4-door sedan, 2022 Kia K5 4-door sedan, 2022 Nissan Altima 4-door sedan, 2022 Nissan Maxima 4-door sedan, 2022 Subaru Legacy 4-door sedan, 2022 Subaru Outback 4-door wagon and 2022 Toyota Camry 4-door sedan.

Midsize Luxury cars: 2022 Acura TLX 4-door sedan, 2022 Lexus ES 350 4-door sedan, 2022 Lexus IS 4-door sedan, 2022 Tesla Model 3 4-door sedan, 2022 Volvo S60 4-door sedan, 2022 Volvo S60 Recharge 4-door sedan, 2022 Volvo V60 Cross Country 4-door wagon and 2022 Volvo V60 Recharge 4-door wagon.

Large cars: 2022 Kia Stinger 4-door hatchback

Large Luxury cars: 2022 Audi A6 4-door sedan, 2022 Audi A6 allroad 4-door wagon, 2022 Audi A7 4-door hatchback, 2022 Genesis G70 4-door sedan, 2022 Genesis G80 4-door sedan, 2022 Genesis G90 4-door sedan, 2022 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4-door sedan, 2022 Volvo S90 4-door sedan, 2022 Volvo S90 Recharge 4-door sedan and 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country 4-door wagon.

Small SUVs: 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4-door SUV, 2022 Ford Bronco Sport 4-door SUV, 2022 Hyundai Tucson 4-door SUV, 2022 Mazda CX-30 4-door SUV, 2022 Mazda CX-5 4-door SUV, 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander 4-door SUV, 2022 Nissan Rogue 4-door SUV, 2022 Subaru Forester 4-door SUV, 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 4-door SUV, 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime 4-door SUV, 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge 4-door SUV, 2022 Volvo XC40 4-door SUV, and 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge 4-door SUV.

Midsize SUVs: 2022 Ford Explorer 4-door SUV, 2022 Hyundai Palisade 4-door SUV, 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe 4-door SUV, 2022 Mazda CX-9 4-door SUV, 2022 Nissan Murano 4-door SUV, 2022 Subaru Ascent 4-door SUV, 2022 Toyota Highlander 4-door SUV and 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 4-door SUV.

Midsize Luxury SUVs: 2022 Acura MDX 4-door SUV, 2022 Acura RDX 4-door SUV, 2022 Audi Q5 4-door SUV, 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback 4-door SUV, 2022 Cadillac XT6 4-door SUV, 2022 Genesis GV70 4-door SUV, 2022 Genesis GV80 4-door SUV, 2022 Hyundai Nexo 4-door SUV, 2022 Lexus NX 4-door SUV, 2022 Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid 4-door SUV, 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class 4-door SUV, 2022 Tesla Model Y 4-door SUV, 2022 Volvo XC60 4-door SUV, 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge 4-door SUV, 2022 Volvo XC90 4-door SUV and 2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge 4-door SUV.

Large SUVs: 2022 Audi e-tron 4-door SUV and 2022 Audi e-tron Sportback 4-door SUV.

Minivans: 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Minivan, 2022 Honda Odyssey Minivan and 2022 Toyota Sienna Minivan.

Note: There are no Top Safety + picks for the following two categories, therefore we have shared the Top Safety Picks instead.

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Top Safety Picks (not Top Safety +)

Small Pickups: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Crew cab pickup

Large Pickups: 2022 Ford F-150 Crew cab pickup, 2022 Ford F-150 Extended cab pickup and 2022 Ram 1500 Crew cab pickup.

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

Texas Lemon Law

The Texas lemon law is in place to protect auto owners like yourself in case the vehicle develops a safety-impeding defect. This defect must significantly decrease the value of the vehicle and put the life of the driver at risk.

The defect must also be something that can’t be fixed, despite multiple attempts (four or more). Meanwhile, this defect must be reported to the dealer/manufacturer in a manner that can be proven. This allows the dealer/manufacturer to have an opportunity to help resolve the defect before the matter becomes a Texas lemon law case.

In the event your vehicle fits those criteria and also has sat idle for 30 days or more (not necessarily consecutively) during the first 18 months owned or 18,000 miles driven, then the vehicle may be covered under the Texas lemon law.

As an owner of a brand-new vehicle, this may not be welcome news. Even researching safety ratings and the best possible vehicle for yourself or your family does not protect you from purchasing a lemon. In fact, 150,000 individuals or families each year find themselves in the position to deal with a defective vehicle. Each state’s law is different. That is why the Texas lemon law is a welcome reassurance that you will be protected if you are saddled with a defective vehicle at any point.

The vehicle must be a car, truck, SUV, minivan, RV or TRV. Electric vehicles are also covered under the Texas lemon law.

The vehicle also must be covered under the original warranty from the dealership or manufacturer. It must be within six months after the first 18 months of ownership or the first 18,000 miles driven (whichever occurs first).

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

If these criteria are met, the Texas lemon law will be on your side. It is time to gather any documentation of repair attempts, notification of the dealership that the defect exists and file a Lemon Law complaint. This can be done online (there is a $35 fee).

Vehicle owners will find themselves dealing with a member of the Texas lemon law department, a specific area of the Texas DMV that handles these complaints. Generally, the first step is to schedule a mediation. The two sides are given the chance to work that out between themselves.

If this effort is not successful, then a hearing before an examiner is scheduled. Both sides have a chance to tell their side to the examiner, who then has 60 days to provide a written decision on the case. That decision can be appealed by either party if they don’t agree with said decision. Meanwhile, the decision can be in favor of the manufacturer or it can be in favor of the auto owner. If it is in favor of the auto owner, then the examiner can dictate whether the vehicle is repaired, repurchased or replaced. No aftermarket additions are factored into the monetary value for any of those three alternatives.

Seeing assistance from a lemon law attorney can be vital to seeing this process go smoothly.

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

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