Dealing with a lemon is not a fun experience. As a vehicle owner in the state of Texas, the good news is the Texas Lemon Law is there to make sure you are protected. However, having legal representation throughout the lemon law process is an extra boost to the likelihood of your case being resolved in your favor.
Therefore, below we give you reasons to consider if you aren’t sure about the necessity of hiring a lemon lawyer.
Chances are, you are experiencing issues with a vehicle for the first time. You aren’t sure what the Texas Lemon Law covers, you aren’ sure if the defect your vehicle is showing counts toward that law and you aren’t sure if you’ll ever have a safe and reliable vehicle again.
This is where the experience of a Lemon Law Lawyer comes into play.
They understand the various criteria a vehicle must meet to be a lemon. They know the timeline to follow and if it’s too late to file a lemon law complaint (hopefully, it is not).
They will be able to make sure you are ready for the process and will see light at the end of the lemon tunnel.
There is a lot of documentation required to prove that the vehicle is a lemon and that there have been unsuccessful attempts to repair the vehicle. Gathering this information and making sure to make the proper notification to the dealer and/or manufacturer is time-consuming. Lemon law lawyers have staff on the payroll to help with all the details and make sure your case can move forward in a timely manner.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here.
We are going to reiterate an important point here: hopefully, this is your first time dealing with a lemon vehicle. Therefore, you don’t have experience with cases involving the Texas Lemon Law. The opposite is true for a lemon law lawyer. They have been through mediations and hearings, they have seen the ins and outs of filing the complaint. They understand any areas where additional information might be requested. They know the different defenses a manufacturer may attempt to use to deny responsibility for your lemon. Therefore, working with an experienced lemon law lawyer means gaining the benefit of their success. Don’t be afraid to ask how many cases they have handled and how many were found in favor of the auto owner. This is a key element to your success – working with a successful lemon law lawyer.
The Texas Lemon Law covers vehicles purchased within the state of Texas. Typically, the timeline is within the first 24 months after purchase or up until the vehicle has been driven 24,000 miles (whichever occurs first).
The vehicles covered include cars, trucks, SUVs, RVs, electric vehicles and towable recreational vehicles (TRVs). These must be purchased with an original warranty from the manufacturer, which means most new vehicles are covered and a few used vehicles may be eligible if they still have the original warranty in place when purchased.
In order to be considered a lemon, the vehicle must have a significant defect that not only puts the life of the driver and any passengers in danger but also significantly impacts the value of the vehicle.
Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form
Meanwhile, the vehicle must have been taken to a reputable mechanic on four or more occasions, which can be documented, to address the same issue, with no success. Remember to tell the mechanic what the issue is in the same way each time – that way the documentation shows it is the same defect. They can attempt alternative solutions but the defect must show to be the same one during multiple visits.
The vehicle also must have sat idle for 30 or more days (these do not necessarily have to be consecutive but must fall within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles driven) and left the owner with no alternative transport, such as a loaner vehicle from the dealership or mechanic.
If the vehicle meets the above criteria, then it is also important to know that the manufacturer/dealer must be made aware of the ongoing issue and be notified in a way that can be proven during the complaint process (certified mail is best). A paper trail for all of the necessary steps is a good way to make sure things move along smoothly.
If this step has been taken, then it is a good time to consider moving forward with the filing of a Texas Lemon law complaint.
A legal team can help make sure that documentation is at hand of all attempts to repair the defect, notification of the manufacturer that said defect is in existence and that the owner has been left with a vehicle that puts their life at risk.
The complaint itself can be filed online through the website for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. They have a special department that handles these complaints. The first step, once the complaint is established as valid, is a meeting for mediation purposes. Both sides must come to an agreement, and if that opportunity is unsuccessful then the next step is a hearing. At the hearing, an examiner hears evidence from both sides. They then have a 60-day window to provide a written decision to both parties. An appeal is an option for the party who is unsatisfied with the result.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law process.
In the event the examiner finds in favor of the auto owner, then there are three options the examiner will choose between for the resolution of the issue. The first is repair of the vehicle – if it is found viable. Next is the replacement of the vehicle with one of comparable value (taking into consideration the number of miles driven). The third option is repurchase of the vehicle (again, with consideration of miles driven). The amount of money the vehicle owner has paid in payments is considered in these options as well. The loan for the vehicle is paid in full in the event of repurchase.
It is important to recognize that any aftermarket changes made will not factor into either the repurchase or replacement value of the vehicle.
The auto owner can rest assured in these cases that they will end up with a reliable vehicle or the financial means to find one, without the stress of the lemon on their plate.
A lemon law lawyer can help make sure auto owners receive this peace of mind, rather than being stuck with a vehicle that doesn’t run efficiently despite being newly purchased.
In today’s world of lengthy court processing and lawsuits, it may seem like a struggle to reach satisfactory resolution of a problem like this. However, the help of a lawyer means a better chance of reaching the end of the road in a timely manner and coming out the victor in legal proceedings.