If your recently purchased vehicle starts showing signs of defects, you should start looking for a lawyer. Lemon cars happen more frequently than you might expect: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates Americans inadvertently purchase 150,000 defective vehicles every year. These “lemon” vehicles leave the factory with repeating, unfixable problems. These defects can range from the seemingly innocuous to life-threatening; from paint job problems to major safety threats. Regardless of what caused the problems, two things remain the same: they aren’t the fault of the owner, and the manufacturer must remedy the problem. When they fail to do so, state and federal lemon laws give consumers and their attorneys the tools to get compensation.
Hiring a lemon law attorney is the single best step a consumer can take to make sure their claim succeeds. A qualified, experienced lemon law attorney can help consumers determine what to do next, which state or federal laws apply best to their specific case, and how to use them to pursue the claim.
Attorney Allen Stewart said a consumer who hires a lemon lawyer has an advocate for their rights throughout the claims process. They have someone whose job is looking out for their best interests by knowing how the process works and how lemon laws affect both consumer and manufacturer.
“A consumer with a lawyer has someone who knows when they’re being bamboozled,” Stewart said. “Someone who knows when what that company just said isn’t the law, or the truth, or equitable. The consumer with the lawyer has an advocate that has seen many other people in like circumstances and knows what the appropriate standard of care and compensation should be.”
There are countless attorneys in the United States who specialize in all sorts of specific fields. Lemon law attorneys specialize in breach of warranty law, which concerns lemon vehicles and the companies that make them. Lemon law lawyers have the specific knowledge and experience pursuing breach of warranty claims, have knowledge of relevant case law and the specific procedures involved in lemon law claims.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked Federal Lemon Law questions, click here.
Andrew Ross, lemon law attorney with Allen Stewart P.C., said experienced lemon law attorneys know exactly how automotive manufacturers operate, especially when it comes to taking responsibility for defective vehicles—or avoiding doing so. They also know the detailed and meticulous process of filing and managing a lemon law claim, and the rules and deadlines involved.
“If you’re missing some of those things, or if you don’t follow certain rules, your claim can be completely tossed out,” Ross said. “You run the risk of having your case thrown out or getting a judgement that prevents you from trying to present your case again.”
Another big difference between traditional attorneys and lemon law attorneys is how they get paid. Many attorneys require payment for services rendered from the client or up front as part of a retainer fee. Lemon law attorneys, however, take their fees from the manufacturer of the consumer’s defective vehicle, following a successful lemon law claim.
Image Source : https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1034754
The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act of 1975 requires manufacturers pay a consumer’s attorney’s fees when the consumer prevails against them in court. This allows lemon law attorneys to pursue lemon law claims without requiring out of pocket expenses from their clients. As such, a consumer shouldn’t trust a lemon law attorney that asks for fees up front.
Lemon law attorneys often tell those experiencing problems with their vehicle to reach out sooner than later because of statutes of limitation. Claims filed sooner are more likely to end well for the consumer because of these statutes.
Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form.
Statutes of limitations basically create deadlines for initiating legal proceedings. Once that time period expires, claims can’t be filed or would be dismissed on statutory grounds. United States law has statutes of limitations for both civil and criminal claims, though particularly serious criminal claims have no statutes of limitations. The statute lengths can also vary from state to state for their particular laws, which can also differ from the statutes for federal laws. Qualified, experienced lemon law attorneys know how to work within the statutes of limitation and give your claim the best chance of resolving in your favor.
Even if you make a claim within your state’s statute of limitations, the vehicle must meet certain requirements to be considered a lemon. hose requirements differ throughout the United States. Vehicles in Texas, for example, must pass one of three “tests” before officially becoming a lemon vehicle: the four times test, the serious safety hazard test, or the 30 day test.
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.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law complaint 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.
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.
No matter what state you live in, the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 applies. The Act borrows the statute of limitations from the state in which the breach of warranty occurs- if you buy a vehicle in Texas, for example, and chose to file a claim through the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, you would abide by Texas statutes. In this case, breach of warranty claims in Texas follow the Uniform Commercial Code’s four-year statute of limitations. Therefore, the statute of limitations for federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claims in Texas is four years.
The lemon law attorneys at Allen Stewart P.C. have the knowledge and experience needed to see your lemon law claim through to a positive conclusion. Don’t wait, contact Allen Stewart P.C. today and get back on the road.