Congratulations. You won a lemon law case in Texas, against the manufacturer or dealer who sold you a defective vehicle. If you are here, then you know the various criteria you had to meet, documentation you needed to have in order to prove the vehicle meets said criteria, and that you had to get through a mediation and a hearing and have the case found in your favor.
That was a lot of hard work. Hopefully, you had a lemon law attorney and their staff on your side for that process. It can help reduce stress, provide extra hands and eyes to gather and read over documents to ensure they provide the right support for your case, and the attorney can provide valuable knowledge and experience that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.
A lemon law attorney has worked on these cases before, and they have probably argued in front of the examiners who are employed by the Texas DMV. They have a good idea of what to expect with these cases. Sometimes, they may even be aware of tricks or tactics employed by the manufacturer you are about to face. If this is the case, they can make sure you don’t have anything unexpected come up in your case. Give them a call and see what advice they can offer. In the meantime, if you are past that stage, read on for the compensation options ahead of you.
The written decision from the examiner can have three possible outcomes clearly outlined. Those outcomes are the financial responsibility of the manufacturer. This means you can be less stressed about having a reliable vehicle and the payments that you may be responsible for currently that aren’t providing you a reliable means of transportation.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law case process questions, click here.
The three possibilities are repurchase, replacement or repair.
Repurchase: This option provides monetary compensation to you, with consideration for miles driven and payments made on the vehicle. There is no additional funds for aftermarket additions to the vehicle.
Yes, this means you are on the market once again for a vehicle. However, you can learn from this experience. Research your purchase thoroughly and learn of potential defects or issues that can arise with a specific model of vehicle. Likewise, consider taking a reputable mechanic with you or scheduling a visit to them during your test drive to get an idea of any potential issues with the vehicle you become interested in. This can cut down on the likelihood of this happening to you again. Sadly, there are around 150,000 vehicles in the US that are labeled lemons EACH YEAR. This means a better chance or purchasing a lemon than you might expect.
On the plus side, Texas mandates that all repurchased vehicles have lemon designated on their title. That way, the same issue can’t plague another vehicle owner who goes shopping for a new car and falls in love with this vehicle, much as you did already.
Replacement: This option has the manufacturer providing a replacement vehicle that is of comparable value to the lemon. This takes into account the number of miles driven and the payments made on the vehicle. However, it does not factor in any aftermarket parts added by you after the initial purchase.
However, you get the reassurance of a vehicle that is probably going to be the same make and model and possibly even include the same accessory package as the vehicle you purchased.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law complaint process.
Repair: I know, this one may seem counterintuitive. However, if the examiner determines the vehicle in question can be repaired, they may choose this option. The manufacturer is responsible for the cost of this repair and may be required to compensate you with additional funds as the auto owner who has paid for previous attempts with no success.
This situation will hopefully only occur in the event that there is a specialist or expert who can address the type of defect the vehicle exhibits.
Did you file your complaint online? The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles handles those cases, and they have a special department that is tasked with the oversight from complaint filing to resolution.
With a fee, the complaint can be filed online. This is intended to see the issue resolved in a more timely manner than an attempt to work through the state’s legal system.
Mediation is the first step. Be careful here (again, why it’s a good idea to hire a lemon law attorney). The manufacturer may attempt to talk/con/bully you into take a deal that is in their favor and does not provide you a comparable value for the vehicle that turned out to be a lemon.
If mediation doesn’t resolve the issue, it is advanced to a hearing. A hearing provides the opportunity to have both parties present their side of the case. Both sides should have proof of their position. The examiner will take it all into account and then will provide a written decision within 60 days.
Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form.
That decision lets the winning side know who they are. If they are the auto owner, it also provides the method of compensation for the vehicle in question. We covered those already.
So hopefully you embarked on a search because you are sitting with the written decision, which shows clearly the case has gone in your favor. And you wanted to know what it all means. Hopefully, within a relatively reasonable timeframe, you will be back behind the wheel of a reliable vehicle and can put the hassle and stress of a lemon behind you.
Luckily, it won’t be in the rear view or the front yard. It will be the problem of the manufacturer or dealer. And they are held culpable to make sure the vehicle does not just get passed on to another vehicle owner with no attempts to resolve the problem it exhibits.
A lemon law attorney can help you reach this resolution. Get in touch with one today, and ask them about their success rate in lemon law cases. Hopefully, they can fill you in on some of the trickier aspects of the lemon law process and make sure things flow smoothly in your favor. The time to reach out is the document gathering and confused stage. Get rid of that lemon before it causes you another day of concern.