Fewer things are worse for American car consumers than discovering your brand-new car is a lemon. You spend months researching what car best fits your needs, go out of your way to find the specific vehicle you want, jump through multiple hoops to finance the vehicle and finally get it home only for it to not work properly. The only good thing about this situation is knowing you aren’t alone. Thousands of American consumers go through this nightmare every year; The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates American consumers inadvertently purchase roughly 150,000 lemon vehicles each year. Every major manufacturer, including Honda, Ford, General Motors and many more, produce lemons every year.
Before the 20th century, the consumer’s best defense was the adage caveat emptor, “let the buyer beware. Now Americans have a slate of state and federal “lemon laws” offering them protection when a manufacturer sells them a defective product. Each state has its own lemon laws which can vary from state to state in degrees of protection, standards and statutes of limitation. These state laws are backed up at the federal level by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975.
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Statutes of limitation answer the question of how long you have to return a new car in Texas, and every other state. Statutes of limitation establish how long after an inciting event legal proceedings can be filed; whether by an individual in civil cases or the state in criminal cases. For particularly heinous crimes, there are no statutes of limitation. Statute lengths vary from state to state and for different claims. One of the myriad advantages of hiring a lemon law attorney is their wealth of knowledge on these statutes and how they work, and how they affect your lemon law claim.
Texas auto consumers must file a state lemon law complaint no later than 42 months from the date the warranty became active. However, if the consumer drives the vehicle 20,000 in the first year after the vehicle’s delivery, the consumer must need to file the Texas state lemon law complaint before the car traveled another 4,000 miles, even if that occurs before the expiration of the 42 months mentioned above.
So, how long do you have to return a used car in Texas? Sadly, Texas does not protect consumers who purchase used cars. The Texas lemon law operates according to manufacturer warranty: an agreement when a new vehicle is sold that they will repair any problem arising from manufacturing errors or faulty components within a certain time period. Those warranties almost always, except in very few cases, expire by the time the vehicle is resold on the used car market. However, if you stuck a special agreement with your used car dealer at the point of sale, how long do you have to return a used car in Texas may depend on that particular agreement. It can’t hurt to speak to a qualified lemon law attorney to see if you have any kind of claim.
“In the event the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, it’s possible the consumer may still be able to force the manufacturer to repair the vehicle as long as the problems were complained of to an authorized dealership of the manufacturer while the vehicle was still under the manufacturer’s warranty,” said attorney Andrew Ross of Allen Stewart P.C.
The question of how long can a dealership hold your car for repair or how long a mechanic can keep your car is easier to answer. The Texas lemon law has a set of tests that determine how long a manufacturer or their authorized mechanic has to repair your vehicle before it qualifies as a lemon. One of those tests is the “30 days test.”
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The 30 days test states if the vehicle has been in the shop for a defect-related repair for 30 days or more during the first two years or 24,000 miles driven without a comparable loaner vehicle offered, it passes the 30-day test and is declared a lemon. This encourages the manufacturer to figure out the problem and repair it promptly, otherwise they have to deal with a lemon. How long can a dealership hold your car for repair? 30 days, as long as you bought the car in Texas.
The question of “how long can a mechanic keep my car” changes, however, if the situation doesn’t involve defect-related repairs. Your mechanic has the right to keep your car and charge you for storage if you don’t pay your bill.
How long it takes to get a car warranty refund can vary depending on what kind of defect your car displayed, which manufacturer you’re dealing with, and whether or not you hired a lemon law attorney. Most manufacturers issue warranty refunds within four to six weeks after determining your vehicle has repeating, unfixable problems. When manufacturers see you have an attorney on your side, they tend to respond faster to these requests; another benefit of seeking out a lemon law attorney.
The lemon law attorneys of Allen Stewart P.C. have the experience needed to guide your claim to success and get you the justice you deserve. Contacting a lemon law firm is the single best step you can take during the lemon law claims process. They know all the deadlines from how long a dealership can hold your car for repair to how long it takes to get a car warranty refund. The sooner you reach out to Allen Stewart P.C., the sooner you get back on the road.