What Classifies a Car as a Lemon under the Law?

Lemon Laws

if you have questions regarding your vehicle as it relates to the lemon law provisions rules and regulations, you have come to the right place. You can contact us for free and speak to us about the problems your vehicle is having. We may decide to be your lemon law representation without charging you a penny upfront. Generally, we get paid from vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Ford, BMW, Nissan, Chrysler, Tesla, Mercedes Benz, Lexus, GMC, Jeep, or any of the other vehicle manufacturers.

Lemon Law – Is Your Vehicle a Lemon? Get Help

Lemon laws in America are State laws that provide protection to consumers by bounding their vehicles to fall into certain limits according to the standards of quality and performance. These laws prevent them from violating such standards. Lemon laws are not necessarily applicable to used or leased vehicles.

In other words, Lemon laws in America pertaining to Vehicle Warranties and the Manufacturer’s responsibility for repairing defects within the warranty period. These manufacturers set up a standard for when vehicles should be repurchased or replaced.

If your vehicle or product is a lemon, in most states you may be sanctioned to your money back or a cash settlement. The replacement for a defective new vehicle is effective if the defect is not removed in four attempts, if a safety defect is within two attempts or if the vehicle was found out of service for 30 days within the first 12,000 to 18,000 miles or 12 to 24 months.

Lemon laws in America can only bring success if good records are kept, right and on-time notice is provided, and arbitration programs are conducted where required. To avoid any sort of ambiguity in cases where two or more parties are involved, it is important to document the transaction. But, in the context of auto manufacturers and dealers, documenting the transaction becomes even more important. Trading cars is undoubtedly a big deal. Consumers today should be smart enough in choosing professional and registered dealers to avoid future inconvenience.

The term “Lemon law” is not the actual or real name of this law but, is a nickname and may differ in each state according to its law.

Each State of the US has Lemon Laws that differ from that of the other.

How Does a Car Qualify for Lemon Laws?

It is usually pretty obvious to the consumer that they have purchased a lemon and they are aware that there is a lemon law in their state, but do you know how to determine whether your vehicle qualifies for relief?

Most consumers know that there is a lemon law in Texas and other states, but few consumers know how to determine whether their vehicles would qualify for relief. As is often the case with legal matters, there is not always a simple answer to that question. Our experienced lemon law attorneys are always willing to review your vehicle’s history to see if you might be able to pursue a claim. In general, we are interested in reviewing your vehicle’s history if it was purchased or leased new (or used but it was still under warranty when you bought or leased it), and: • it has been repaired at least 3 times for the same problem, OR

  • it has been in the shop for repairs for a total of 30 days or longer, OR
  • it has been repaired at least 8 times total for the same problem or different problems, OR
    it has been subject to 1 failed repair attempt for a defect that could cause death or serious injury

The simplest way to determine if your vehicle is a “lemon” is to speak with an experienced lemon law attorneys by calling  or filling out our form for a free lemon case review. Even if you think your vehicle does not meet the requirements for relief, you have nothing to lose by calling us, except of course for that lemon you are driving. There are exceptions to the above rules and there are also other laws which we may be able to use to pursue a claim for your defective vehicle or consumer product. Our review of your situation is always free, regardless of whether or not you become our client.

TYPES OF VEHICLES COVERED

Usually the Texas lemon law will only apply to a vehicle which was purchased or leased new and came with a warranty. However, if you bought or leased a used car which came with a warranty, you may still qualify for relief under the Texas lemon law or the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The Warranty Act covers all consumer products sold in this country which were priced more than $10 and which came with some sort of warranty. The Warranty Act is most frequently used for motor vehicle cases, but the lemon law attorneys represent clients under the Warranty Act in cases involving campers, travel trailers, motor homes, small and large boats, personal watercraft (e.g. Jet-Ski’s), refrigerators, washer/dryer sets, televisions, computers and many other consumer products.

Texas’s lemon law covers non-commercial passenger cars and other motor vehicles, such as pick-up trucks, motorcycles, motor homes (excluding the living and storage areas), all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) and motorized scooters. Leased vehicles are covered under the Texas Lemon Law the same as if you had purchased the vehicle. Non-commercial generally means that the vehicle must be used for personal, family or household purposes. Business vehicles are often excluded unless you use it as your personal vehicle as well.

LEMON LAW COVERAGE PERIOD

Texas’s lemon law, like all state lemon laws, has a specific period after the original delivery of the vehicle during which your vehicle can possibly qualify for lemon law assistance. The lemon law coverage period in Texas is one year or 18,000 miles from the date of original delivery, whichever comes first. The Texas Supreme Court defined “original delivery” as the date of a vehicle’s delivery to its first titled owner. Therefore, you can still qualify for lemon law relief if you bought the vehicle used (or as a demo model), so long as it was repaired at least once before one year or 18,000 miles after it was delivered to its first owner.

There are sometimes exceptions to the general rules. As explained above, you also may qualify for compensation under the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act even if you don’t qualify under your state’s lemon law.

LEMON LAW REPAIR ATTEMPT PRESUMPTIONS

The Texas lemon law requires that the manufacturer and/or its authorized dealers repair a defect in your vehicle (which is first reported within the lemon law time period) within a “reasonable” number of repair attempts. “Reasonable” is a word which is used every day in just about every area of the law in a number of different contexts. To make it clearer what Texas’s legislature felt was a “reasonable” number of attempts, the Texas lemon law defines it for us through the use of “presumptions.” The Texas lemon law states that it is presumed that the manufacturer and/or its authorized dealers have failed to repair your vehicle within a “reasonable” number of repair attempts if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • Substantially the same nonconformity has been subject to repair 3 or more times and either continues to exist or recurs after the 3rd repair opportunity; OR
  • Your vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a total of 30 or more calendar days; OR
  • There have been 8 or more attempts to repair any nonconformity in your vehicle (i.e. 8 total repair attempts for any problems); OR
  • There has been at least one attempt to repair a nonconformity that results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven, and the nonconformity either continues to exist or recurs after that one repair opportunity.

In addition, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the 30 days out of service presumption under the Texas lemon law is essentially absolute. A consumer is entitled to relief under the Texas lemon law regardless of whether the defect or nonconformity is repaired after the 30 days have passed.

Not every defect in your vehicle would always qualify for lemon law relief. Texas’s lemon law defines a “nonconformity” as “any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor vehicle to the consumer and does not conform to the express warranty of the manufacturer or distributor.” This definition was intended to except from the Texas lemon law very minor or trivial problems which do not substantially impact the use, value, or safety of your vehicle.

You should not just assume that because you don’t meet any of the four presumptions above, or because you think the problem with your vehicle might be deemed to be trivial, that there is nothing you can do. Let an experienced lemon law attorney make that decision for you.

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