Archive for July, 2010
When you buy a new car, you expect it to be problem-free for the foreseeable future. But, while most new vehicles perform according to warranty, there are also vehicles that, even while under warranty, behave like anything but new. In the eyes of the law, these vehicles are often considered “lemons”; that is, vehicles that undergo a significant number of unsuccessful repair attempts (usually about three) for the same defect while still under warranty. There are two types of lemon laws: the state lemon law and the federal lemon law, the latter of which is established by the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act.
Both state and federal lemon law establish consumers’ right to receive compensation for lemon vehicles, but they differ in terms of how a vehicle’s lemon status is assessed and how consumers’ are compensated. Under state lemon law, a vehicle must experience a persistent defect within a certain number of miles (usually less than 18,000) after its original delivery date. But under federal lemon law, a vehicle can qualify as a lemon as long as it is still under the manufacturer’s original warranty.
State lemon law compensates lemon owners by allowing them to receive either a free comparable replacement vehicle or a refund of the vehicle’s purchase price minus a mileage based allowance, while under federal lemon law, consumers can receive a financial award and keep their vehicle, but cannot receive a free replacement vehicle. Another difference between state and federal lemon law definition is that federal lemon law covers alternative vehicles that most states do not, such as motorcycles, ATVs, personal boats and motor scooters. If you a own lemon vehicle that is still under warranty but isn’t covered by your state’s lemon laws, contact a lemon law attorney to learn more about your rights under federal lemon law today.
Many of us have owned a car that we referred to as a lemon car. To legally be considered a lemon, a vehicle must meet certain requirements established by state or federal lemon law. Under state lemon laws, a vehicle must undergo a certain number of unsuccessful repair attempts (usually about three) within a certain number of miles (usually less than 18,000) of its original delivery date. Most states do not cover used cars or alternative vehicles such as motorcycles, boats and ATVs.
Unlike state lemon laws, federal lemon laws do not require that an irreparable defect occur within a certain range of miles, but cover all vehicles that are still under the manufacturer’s original warranty, including used cars and alternative vehicles that are deemed personal vehicles (e.g. dump trucks and bulldozers are excluded). Just as federal and state lemon differ in their lemon criteria; they also differ in terms of how lemon owners are compensated. Under state lemon laws, lemon owners can choose to receive either a free comparable replacement vehicle or a refund of their vehicle’s purchase price minus a mileage-based allowance. Under federal lemon laws, lemon owners receive a cash award and can keep their vehicle, but cannot receive a free replacement vehicle.
Although lemon cases seem straightforward, they can often become frustrating and complex when it comes to dialoguing with an automaker. As a result, most consumers require the help of a lemon law attorney to receive meaningful compensation in a timely fashion. If you are considering handling your own lemon case to avoid attorney fees, be aware that federal lemon laws allow you to recover attorney fees when your case is successful, which is almost always the case when an experienced attorney is on your side.
Does The State Lemon Law Cover Alternative Vehicles?
In most states, alternative vehicles are not covered by the lemon law. However, the federal lemon laws cover all types of alternative vehicles, such as motorcycles, ATVs, Personal boats and motor scooters. Federal lemon laws also cover used vehicles that are still under the manufacturer’s original warranty. Although federal lemon law covers alternative vehicles, it only covers vehicles that qualify as personal vehicles. For example, bulldozers, dump trucks and commercial carrier trucks are not considered personal vehicles.
What Type of Reimbursement do you receive for a Lemon Vehicle?
The type of reimbursement received for a lemon vehicle depends mainly on whether a lemon case is brought under state law or federal law. Under state law, lemon owners can choose between receiving a free comparable replacement vehicle and receiving a full refund of the vehicle’s purchase price minus a mileage based allowance. Under federal law, lemon owners can receive a cash award and keep their vehicle but cannot receive a free replacement vehicle.
How do you know When a Vehicle is a Lemon?
The legal definition of a lemon is different at the state level than it is at the federal level. Under state lemon laws, a vehicle is a lemon if it experiences a certain number of repair attempts (usually about three) within a certain range of miles (usually less than 18,000) after its original delivery date. Under federal lemon laws, a vehicle is a lemon if it is still under the manufacturer’s warranty and experiences a defect that cannot be repaired within a reasonable number of attempts, regardless of its mileage.
Is it Necessary to Hire an Attorney to Win a Lemon Case?
It is not absolutely necessary to hire an attorney to receive compensation for a lemon vehicle. However, in the absence of a lemon law attorney, most consumers receive a far lower settlement offer than they would if they hired an attorney. Because federal lemon laws allow consumers to recover attorney fees, having an attorney handle your lemon case is always the best choice.