What should you do if the car you buy turns out to be a dud, and breaks almost immediately after you buy it? There are actually laws for that, appropriately called lemon laws. These laws differ across America. For instance, what if you get a lemon car in Texas? How do the lemon laws work there?
The Lemon Law Explained
The Lemon Law is a law that states that the manufacturer can be sued for a nonfunctioning car provided the car meets certain requirements.
Proof of a Lemon Car
To qualify as a lemon car, at least one out of three requirements must be met. Your claim becomes invalid if these conditions were met after the warranty ran out or the car has driven 24,000 miles. The claim is also invalid if the warranty doesn’t cover the issue you’re dealing with.
1. At least four attempts have been made to repair the car, and none have worked.
2. The car has been in the shop for a cumulative period of thirty days or longer.
3. The defect threatens the safety of those in or around the vehicle.
These first three conditions establish that the car is, in fact, suffering major performance or functionality issues and that the burden, therefore, falls on the dealership or manufacturer to fix it.
Attempts to Solve Out of Court
The consumer must also give the manufacturer a certain number of chances to fix the car, and a description of the issue by mail, if possible. If these chances have been given and they have either been rejected or for some other reason the problem has not been fixed, it is time to see a lawyer.
Age of the Car
Another thing to consider is that the car must have been new when you bought it. If the car had any previous owners, it’s basically impossible to be sure that the car’s problem was an error of the dealer or manufacturer. Even if you bought the car from a dealership, the dealership can’t be held responsible for the issue.
What a Lawyer Can Do?
A lawyer can guide you through the process of getting your case to a hearing. A hearing is a somewhat informal court session – less so than criminal law, at least. One key difference is that there’s no jury in a hearing. Nobody wants to sit through court for six hours listening to you talk about how your car doesn’t work and explaining why it’s the manufacturer’s fault. Instead, you will present your case to a judge and they will make the final decision. Usually, this happens sometime after court adjourns, so the judge has time to consider everything.
Who to Contact
More often than not, it’s going to be the manufacturer that you’ll have to take to court for your Lemon Law hearing. The dealership was only responsible for selling the car, and usually can’t be blamed for any defects it was built with. Not only that, but the dealer may try to convince you to spend more money on a different car. You might need to get a new car depending on how your case works out, but that’s something to deal with later.
The hearing may bring more good news than you’d expect. Winning a lemon car case means that the car manufacturer or dealership, depending on who you took to court, has to pay your attorney fees. This is a law in most states. However, if you lose your case, you will have to pay for any lawyers’ fees you may have. The good news is that at least a few companies have thought of this and offered a solution. It is possible to buy lemon insurance that covers anything your warranty doesn’t. With this in mind, you may want to plan ahead.
Car Recalls and Lemon Laws
It’s a valid question as to whether or not a car recall is grounds for a lemon law case, and the answer is maybe. It is common to see lemon car cases where there was a recall issued, but it’s not guaranteed. If there was a recall and you think you have a lemon law case, it’s worth pursuing. However, a lawyer is going to have a better perspective on your case than you are.
Is Your Lemon Car Grounds for Legal Action?
There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for what counts as a legitimate lemon law case. There are legal requirements that your lemon car must meet, but the laws were written as a reference point. They were designed to present a situation that almost always merits legal action. Once these conditions have been met, you’ll need to go to a lawyer. Keep in mind that there are law firms that deal especially in lemon law cases, so, naturally, they’re the ones you should be looking for. It will often be the manufacturer that you end up taking to court, and if you win, they’ll have to pay your lawyer bills. If you want to avoid all the hassle of lemon law cases, please visit our site. We sell insurance that helps cover what a warranty doesn’t. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!