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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.

The Future of Lemon Law: Predictions and Trends for the Next Decade

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Unfortunately, buying a new vehicle does not guarantee that the car will actually work the way it’s intended to. Someone who purchases a new car expects that the car will be safe and usable. This is not always the case. Some vehicles– even when they’re fresh from a manufacturer– are lemons.

Remember: a car doesn’t have to stop working completely to be considered a lemon vehicle. Lemon cars are defined as cars that function improperly due to certain manufacturing defects covered by a warranty.

It’s important to know that lemon laws vary by state. The way that you need to approach a lemon vehicle case might be different than how a friend or family member even one state over needs to go about the process

The best way to be sure of how to protect your rights is to reach out to an experienced lemon law attorney. Lemon law lawyers help their clients pursue relief after the purchase of a defective vehicle

Many state and federal laws change as the years go on. Lemon laws are not an exception. Vehicle buyers should be aware of the ways that the legislature around defective vehicles could shift over the coming years and even the next decade.

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

How will lemon laws change over the next decade?

Nobody can list specific changes to lemon laws that might happen over the next ten years. Those with experience in the auto and legal industries, however, definitely have some ideas.

Lemon claims may rely more on mediation and arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are legal processes. They are meant to help lemon car owners pursue compensation without lengthy court proceedings.

Arbitration relies on a neutral, third-party arbitrator to make legal choices based on both sides of a lemon dispute. Mediation involves a third party as well– but in these circumstances, the mediator’s job is to help both parties in a dispute come to a mutual legal decision together.

Neither mediation nor arbitration involves working with a judge or going to trial. More and more lemon law claims are expected to be shuttled through these processes over the next decade. It helps people who have purchased lemon cars spend less time and money finding relief.

Consumer protection measures are increasing
Fortunately for consumers, there are protection measures in place intended to help them after a lemon vehicle purchase. These measures follow a trend– they become stricter over time.

The next decade will likely see increased laws and guidelines designed to protect consumers. Lemon law protections continue to become stronger as time goes on. Dealerships are more likely to have to fully disclose information about known defects before selling a car. Warranty periods are seeing extensions, too.

Lemon law and electric vehicles: more of the same problems

Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars are quickly becoming more popular. They are expected to become even more common on American roads over the next decade.

More environmental regulations are being put into place to control emissions and fuel economy standards. The current presidential administration just finalized what the Environmental Protection Agency calls “their strongest ever pollution standards” for U.S. vehicles.

Some legislature, like the new standards listed above, will increase the demand for electric vehicles and hybrids.

Electric vehicle lemon claims involve the same process as any other vehicle lemon claim– but there are definitely unique aspects about them that can increase the risk of an electric or hybrid car being a lemon

The next decade will likely involve lemon EVs displaying many of the same issues they do now. Some common defects in electric vehicles involve…

Battery problems

Batteries are the primary difference between traditional and electric vehicles. Because EV and hybrid batteries rely on unique technology, they open up the door to the potential for unique problems.

Electric vehicles need perfectly-functioning batteries to start their engines. These batteries also have to provide enough power to carry cars and passengers to their destinations. One small defect in one of these vehicles is often the difference between a normal EV and a lemon EV.

Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law complaint process.

The evolution of the electric vehicle industry will only bring more changes to how EV batteries are manufactured. As more advanced technology starts to play a role in these batteries, the potential for mistakes in design and manufacturing increase. Changes like these also often mean that mechanics and dealers who could repair battery problems may have more difficulty doing so (due to lack of experience).

Backup automation malfunctions

Many EVs feature backup automation. While this can be a handy feature that helps keep drivers and the people around them safe, it is also an opportunity for malfunctions.

Some electric cars stop backing up even when there is no obstacle or oncoming vehicle to cause it. Not only can this make an EV or hybrid very difficult to properly operate, but it actually can be dangerous. A car that stops when it shouldn’t may be in the path of another oncoming vehicle.

Computer and software issues

Electric and hybrid vehicles are more mechanically simple than gas-powered cars; but they make up for that with their complicated software. An increasing number of lemon law cases have started centering around EV software.

This trend is all but guaranteed to continue over the next decade. Local dealers will likely continue to struggle to keep up with changing EV technology, which means that they still may not have the expertise needed to fix computer and software problems as time goes on.

Braking system problems

Braking systems are an integral part of electric cars. Not only do they slow and stop EVs (like they do in traditional cars); but every plug-in electric vehicle on the market in the U.S. today relies on something called regenerative braking. This technology captures kinetic energy from cars as they slow or stop. Then, it transfers that energy to the hybrid or EV’s batteries to help power the car. The science behind regenerative braking is changing– and as new innovations come around, they might prove risky for drivers

Electrical system malfunctions

All cars rely on complex mechanical and electrical systems to function properly. Electric vehicles, as one might guess, rely on electrical systems even more heavily than traditional vehicles.

The way that these systems operate is rapidly changing. The more the EV and hybrid industries work to create innovative new features and improve vehicles’ capabilities, the more potential for error exists. The electronics involved in making these cars run are sensitive and complicated. A single seemingly “minor” defect could lead to a malfunction of the entire system.

Lemon laws over the next decade

The future of federal lemon law isn’t predictable– but certain trends are taking shape in the industry. Somebody who has questions about a potential lemon car now or in the future should contact a qualified lemon law attorney to discuss their concerns.

A lemon law attorney can assist their client in gathering evidence to support a lemon claim. They can facilitate the mediation or arbitration processes and, if a lemon law claim does need to go to trial, a lawyer can help.

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

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