Your vehicle is your trusted transportation. It should be reliable and should start every day smoothly. It should transport you from Point A to Point B without any stress or hassle. You should not be stranded anywhere midway due an unforeseen issue with your vehicle.
Car ownership can be a great privilege. However, if you happen to be one of the unlucky group who end up with a lemon vehicle each year (the average number of lemon vehicles sold in the US each YEAR is over 100,000), then you will come to realize that purchasing a vehicle comes with the possibility of a nightmare. That nightmare involves having a defect fixed if that defect persists beyond the first trip to the mechanic.
For Porsche owners, the likelihood of ending up with a lemon is 1 in 126,000. Meanwhile, if you are a Toyota owner, the lemons only pop up once every 11.6 million vehicles. Both Mercedes and BMW average one lemon per 2 million vehicles. For Honda owners, the odds are one in 2.8 million. Therefore, it pays to know what you are getting and what to expect from the vehicle manufacturer.
If you are a Texas resident, however, there is hope for assistance with navigating warranty issues and defects that occur without any reason.
Texas lemon law basics
The lemon law in Texas was designed to protect consumers from purchasing defective automobiles. This law states that if a vehicle is found to be defective and the dealer or manufacturer is unable to repair it, they are required to either refund the purchase price or replace the vehicle with one of equal value.
The law applies to cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs that are less than two years old, have less than 24,000 miles, and were purchased in Texas. Additionally, the manufacturer must have attempted to repair the vehicle at least three times for the same issue.
If the vehicle has been in the shop for a total of 30 days or more, the consumer may also be entitled to a refund or replacement. In order to take advantage of the lemon law, the consumer must file a complaint with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here.
If you own a vehicle in Texas and you believe it may be a lemon, then you need to be aware of the Texas Lemon Law. The Texas Lemon Law applies to new and used cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes, and other vehicles covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
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To qualify as a lemon, a vehicle must have a defect or condition that substantially impairs its use, value, or safety, and that has not been fixed after a reasonable number of attempts at repair. In Texas, the vehicle must go through at least three repair attempts, or the manufacturer must have had at least 20 cumulative days to repair the vehicle before you can qualify for a lemon law claim.
In addition to the required repair attempts, any of the following can also qualify for a lemon law claim:
- A single repair attempt that results in the vehicle being out of service for 30 or more days;
- Four or more repair attempts for the same defect;
- Repairs that are not completed within a reasonable amount of time; or
- The vehicle was returned in a condition that is worse than when it was taken in for repair.
If your vehicle meets any of the criteria mentioned above and is still not fixed, then you may be entitled to compensation, including a refund or a replacement vehicle. It is important to keep records of all repair attempts, including repair orders, warranty information, and any other documentation.
If you have determined that your vehicle is a lemon, it is important to contact an attorney who specializes in lemon law claims. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid claim, and can also help you navigate the process of filing a claim.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law complaint process.
Navigating a dispute over a lemon vehicle in Texas
Resolving a dispute over a lemon vehicle in Texas can be a tricky situation. It’s important to be aware of your rights and the laws governing lemon vehicles in the state. Before attempting to resolve the dispute, consider the following steps:
- File a complaint with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Texas DMV requires all complaints to be in writing and must include a description of the problem and the vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
- Contact the manufacturer and/or dealer. You can contact the manufacturer of the vehicle and/or the dealer you purchased the vehicle from to inform them of the problem and attempt to resolve the dispute.
- Consider legal action. If you are unable to resolve the dispute through informal methods, you may need to pursue formal legal action.
- Consult an attorney to discuss your options.
By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to resolve your dispute. It’s important to remain patient, as the process can be lengthy.
Deep dive into the Texas lemon law filing process
Filing a claim under the Texas Lemon Law can be a complex series of steps, but with the right information, it can be manageable. Here are the steps you need to take to file a claim:
Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form.
- Determine if you are eligible to file a claim: To qualify for a lemon law claim in Texas, you must have purchased or leased a vehicle from a licensed Texas dealer and the vehicle must have a defect that substantially impairs its use, value, or safety.
- Gather evidence: Before filing a claim, you should gather evidence that the vehicle has a defect. This includes repair orders, receipts, photos, and any other documents you have related to the vehicle.
- Notify the manufacturer: Once you have determined that you are eligible to file a claim and have gathered evidence, you must notify the manufacturer of the vehicle and give them a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect.
- File your claim: If the manufacturer is unable to repair the defect, you can file a claim with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need to submit the necessary forms and evidence to support your claim.
- Wait for a decision: Once your claim is received, the department will investigate the complaint and make a decision. Depending on the outcome, you may receive a properly repaired vehicle, a refund, or a replacement vehicle.
It is a great idea to have legal counsel for this process, both to have an experienced support staff behind you and to have someone who can see the pitfalls of the process before you get to them. That can cut down on the time you have to spend worrying about the process. It also means you will have help in gathering the evidence and getting your complaint on track.
No one wants to have a defective vehicle on their hands. You can be sure to get a more reliable vehicle – one way or another – by having a lemon law attorney on your side for the complaint process.
Get back on the road in a vehicle you can trust in a timely manner. This is not a simple process, but it can be streamlined by communicating with a lemon law attorney early.