Every year thousands of Americans encounter a nightmare scenario: they buy a brand-new vehicle after months of shopping and comparing deals only to find the car is busted. Specifically, their new vehicle exhibits repeated, unfixable defects; their new car is a lemon. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates consumers purchase roughly 150,000 lemon vehicles every year, from manufacturers including General Motors, Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler, Honda and many more. These vehicles can cost their owners much more than the original purchase price in alternate transportation, towing, loss of work and more because of lemon-related breakdowns. This happens on no fault of the consumer themselves, but because of substandard materials, faulty components or even simple human error at the factory.
Someone who’s never run into such a disaster may wonder: which of the following is correct about the “lemon law?”
For starters, you should know the lemon law exists to protect you. Each state in America has a “lemon law” requiring manufacturers to repair, replace, or refund defective vehicles. These lemon laws empower consumers and their attorneys to get fair treatment and force manufacturers to honor their products’ warranties. At the national level the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 protects American consumers regardless of the state in which they live or purchased their vehicle.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here.
Another true aspect about American lemon law is that claims have a limited life span during which they can be pursued. Certain specific deadlines and statutes of limitations require prompt action otherwise the consumer cannot initiate legal proceedings. Each state has its own statute of limitations for filing a lemon law claim and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act follows the statute of limitations for the state in which the claim originates; the sooner you file your claim, the better your chances are of getting a positive outcome. United States law has statutes of limitations for both civil and criminal claims, though particularly serious criminal claims have no statutes of limitations. Statute lengths vary from state to state and for different claims. Your lemon law attorney has the knowledge and experience to successfully navigate the various state and federal laws and limitations to get your claim the best possible outcome.
The Texas lemon law protects consumers who purchase or lease brand-new defective vehicles. The following tests are available for assistance with the lemon law: the four times test, the 30-day test, and the serious safety hazard tests. These tests help consumers by spelling out in no uncertain terms what will make a vehicle qualify as a lemon under the Texas lemon law.
Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form
A vehicle passes the four times test if it’s been taken to a dealership for repairs two times for the same problem or defect within the first year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first, and twice more during the first 12 months or 12,000 miles following the first repair attempt without the problem being fixed.
A vehicle passes the 30-day test if it has been out of service for repair because of problems covered by the original factory warranty for a total of 30 days or more during the first two years or 24,000 miles of ownership without a comparable loaner vehicle offered, and there were two repair attempts during the first year or 12,000 without any success.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law process.
A vehicle passes the serious safety hazard test if the vehicle owner submits the vehicle for repair of a serious safety hazard once during the first 12 months of ownership or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first, and then once more during the 12 months or 12,000 miles following the first repair attempts without the problem being fixed. The Texas lemon law defines a “serious safety hazard” as any life-threatening malfunction that substantially impedes the driver’s ability to control or operate the vehicle normally, or that creates a substantial risk of fire or explosion.
It’s easy to feel alone when a lemon strikes, but help is available. Reach out to Allen Stewart P.C. as soon as you can. Our lemon law attorneys can help you get money back for your lemon car purchase, but only if you act quickly. Don’t delay, contact Allen Stewart P.C. today.