You have navigated the world of the lemon vehicle. You brought home a new vehicle, excited to own something new and just what you were hoping for. You experience disbelief and then frustration as you realize the vehicle won’t be reliable. In fact, you realize the vehicle is unsafe to drive and will need to be fixed in order to be a reliable source of transportation.
Having a reliable vehicle is important because it:
- Ensures safety on the road
- Provides transportation to work or school
- Allows for travel and exploration
- Saves time and energy compared to public transportation
- Can be used for emergency situations
- Maintains independence and freedom of mobility
- Increases convenience and flexibility in daily life.
The good news is the lemon law complaint process is handled in different channels and can be trusted to help you get resolution – provided you have the right documentation and meet the criteria.
When you win a lemon law case in Texas, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle – or repairs completed at the expense of the manufacturer/dealer. The process typically involves filing a claim with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and providing evidence that your vehicle meets the criteria for a lemon, such as having a significant defect that cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.
Once you go through the complaint process and are awarded restitution – in one of the three forms above, you get to have a more reliable vehicle.
The examiner who oversees your hearing determines which of the three – repair, refund or replacement – that you specifically receive.
These options take into account both the number of miles driven and the payments made on the vehicle. Some situations also factor in the amount you have paid for previous unsuccessful repair attempts.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law claim questions, click here.
If your claim is successful, you may receive a refund for the purchase price of the vehicle, any finance charges, and other related costs. Alternatively, you may be able to receive a replacement vehicle of comparable value. It is important to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in lemon law cases to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Discovering that your vehicle might be a lemon can be a frustrating experience. This usually happens when your car experiences repeated issues that cannot be fixed even after multiple repair attempts.
Lemon laws exist in many states to protect consumers in these situations, and Texas is no exception. If you are sure your vehicle is a lemon, you may be eligible for a refund or replacement vehicle. It’s important to document all issues with your vehicle and work with the manufacturer or a lemon law lawyer to understand your options.
There are some ways that a vehicle can clearly show it is defective. If that is the case, it is dangerous to drive and must be monitored closely. It should be taken in for repair as soon as possible.
Think you have a lemon, click here to fill out a 30 second form.
This is to provide you more reliable transportation and also due to the fact that a lemon law complaint requires you to take it in for four or more attempts at repair with no success. Also, this must be done within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles, and that limits your timeframe more than you might expect.
Here are some signs that your vehicle may have a significant defect:
- Dashboard warning lights illuminate and stay on.
- Unusual or loud noises from the engine, brakes, or suspension.
- Difficulty starting the vehicle or a weak battery.
- Changes in the way the vehicle handles or drives, such as pulling to one side or vibrating.
- Decreased fuel efficiency or a sudden increase in fuel consumption.
- Unusual smells, such as burning oil or gas.
- Fluid leaks underneath the vehicle.
- Electrical issues, such as malfunctioning windows or headlights.
- Uneven tire wear or tires that feel unstable.
- A sudden decrease in overall performance or power.
If you know your vehicle is defective, it is important to take it to a reputable mechanic. There are benefits and downsides to taking it to either an independent mechanic or a dealership. Therefore, it is key to decide what is best in your situation.
Once you decide, make sure to keep documentation for EVERY visit. You also need to notify the dealer or manufacturer who sold you the vehicle that the defect exists, and multiple attempts at repair have been unsuccessful.
The earlier you do this the better, as the Texas lemon law requires you to provide a “reasonable amount of time” for the manufacturer to help you ensure the vehicle is repaired in a satisfactory manner.
Using certified mail to notify the manufacturer of a defect with your vehicle is important because it provides proof of delivery and creates a record that the manufacturer cannot dispute. This can be crucial in the event of a dispute or legal action.
By sending the notification via certified mail, you have a reliable way to demonstrate that the manufacturer received the notice and was aware of the defect. This can help protect your rights as a consumer and ensure that the manufacturer takes appropriate action to address the issue.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law complaint process.
You also must have proof that your vehicle has sat idle for 30 days or more in the first 24 months you owned it. Any days where a mechanic provided a loaner vehicle do not count toward this 30-day total.
You also need to be sure your defect is significant and not only decreases the overall value of the vehicle but also puts you at serious risk if you attempt to drive the vehicle. A defect that is a minor inconvenience – with the GPS, entertainment system, or the A/C, does not count to make your vehicle a lemon under the Texas lemon law.
Keep that in mind before you start prepping a case. The defect must be significant enough to make it far less valuable than it would be at its current age and also must put your life at risk to drive it.
If these apply, however, it is important to know that the vehicle fits these criteria.
Did we talk about the type of vehicle that fits the Texas lemon law? You can have a car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, RV, TRV, electric vehicle or van that has a significant defect. You won’t have much luck with trailers or non-motorized vehicles (or boats or tractors) under the Texas lemon law. The vehicle must be purchased within the state of Texas, also. If that is the case, you are well on your way to a successful case.
Now you are more informed on the steps to the process and what to expect if you win, you can start putting together the key steps for your case. The first step should be identifying a significant defect. The second should be consulting a reliable and experienced lemon law attorney.
Start looking for a number and make the call today. It’s worth your time to be informed and have the necessary support to win restitution if you got saddled with a lemon.