More Questions And Concerns About Lemon Law

What if the dealer can’t fix the car?

According to most lemon laws, if the dealer or manufacture doesn’t fix the problem after a reasonable number of attempts (typically four or more) or if the car is out of service for an extended period of time (typically thirty days or more in the first of ownership), you are likely entitled to relief under many lemon law statutes.

If it can’t be fixed, what kind of relief is available?

Return the car to the dealer. You are entitled to either a new car to replace the defective one or a refund of the purchase price, including finance charges and taxes. If you choose a refund, the dealer may impose a reasonable charge for your use of the defective vehicle since the date of purchase.

In many states, the consumer may be required to participate in informal dispute resolution procedures (arbitration or mediation) established by the manufacturer.

Will car manufacturers settle? Generally, yes. Settlement is usually a wise option for the manufacturer for two reasons. First, most manufacturers prefer to settle rather then get negative publicity about their cars. Second, settling consumer disputes before extensive and protracted litigation happens is much more cost effective. The economics of settlement is usually in favor of both parties.

What about arbitration? Many manufacturers’ warranties provide that any dispute must be resolved by an arbitrator rather than by a lawsuit in court.

A lawyer experienced in lemon law can advise you whether a mandatory arbitration provision applies in your case or should be challenged.

Can I sue?

State lemon laws are in addition to other remedies available to a consumer. For example, you might be able to retain the car and sue the dealer for “breach of warranty” if the car is defective. You might recover the cost of repair and any damage you suffered as a consequence (such as the cost of a rental car). If your defective car is not repaired to your satisfaction or replaced, consult an experienced consumer lawyer to explore your options.

If I have to sue, who pays my attorney fees?

In many states, the manufacturer is responsible for payment of your attorney fees.

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On: Lemon Law, Products and Warranties and Consumer Rights

 

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