Jun 25
Automobile Lemon Law - Pertinent Facts About Lemon Laws
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Tuesday, 16 March 2010 01:04
Lemon laws were created to protect the consumer who is buying a product that has a manufacturer's warranty, in most cases a vehicle. After purchase they find out that the vehicle has reoccurring mechanical problems which the dealer seemingly cannot fix. Also if a vehicle cannot be driven for 30 days, because of the defect in the vehicle, then it can be deemed a lemon. Some of the things that can be done to correct these problems are cash reimbursements, refund of the original purchase price, or even a new vehicle replacement. In most states if a consumer files a suit under the lemon laws, and is declared the winner, then the judge can award the court costs to the consumer also. Usually a suit under the lemon laws is brought about within the first year of the consumer owning the vehicle, or within the first 12,000 miles. Most states offer help in researching a lemon law.

In some cases when a law suit has been filed against a manufacturer, the manufacturer will show an effort to buy back the vehicle, but questions arise about the value of the vehicle. Manufacturer will attempt to buy the vehicle back for as little as possible. It is important for a consumer to push for the lowest amount per mile charge they can get; this way they can receive a larger amount of the purchase price.

In most states it is required that the consumer notify the manufacturer that they intend to take action under the lemon law according the legislature of that state. A consumer that periodically takes their vehicle to a dealer for servicing is not considered notification. Sometimes it may seem like it is effortless to notify the manufacturer or dealer, but state and federal laws require this as a protection for not only consumers but dealers and manufacturers alike. A proper notification to a manufacturer or dealer is sending a certified letter of intent with a signature receipt.

When seeking professional help from a lawyer, the consumer should do research to make sure the lawyer has the experience and skills needed for a lemon law suit. These lawyers should be fluent with the current lemon law statutes in your state. The consumer should discuss fees and charges with the lawyer thoroughly, as some lawyers charge a large retainer in those cases because the dealer or manufacturer is the one who will pay it in the event the consumer wins. Lawyers can be very expensive.

It is especially smart for consumers to keep a thorough record of all cost associated with a lemon law case. Along with the records, the consumer should also keep record of any and all interaction with dealers and manufacturers. This step is to protect the consumer from some manufacturers who say they have not been notified in the correct manner, or have not been allowed enough time to do the repairs. If this becomes the case, then it is the consumer's responsibility to prove otherwise. Consumer should especially get receipts any time there is a repair to the vehicle done, for protection against this very type of incident.

Some states allow for arbitration in lemon law cases. Many manufacturers even make it seem like this is required under law before attempting to correct a problem. This is not true, arbitration is not required, and aside from dragging a case out, it is not always even needed.

By: Elizabeth J. Webb

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Last Updated on Sunday, 23 May 2010 16:42