Note: In Florida lemon law only applies to new cars from the dealership, not used cars, preowned cars, and certified pre-owned cars.
If your car has ever given you constant grief, you may have wondered if there is anything you could do about it. Surprisingly, many people don’t know they can get their money back for a lemon car – and the law protects them! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of the lemon law in detail. We’ll cover what the law entails, what to do if your car is a lemon, and how to make the most of the law.
What are car Lemon Laws?
State lemon laws, like the car lemon law, protect consumers from purchasing items that do not meet their expectations. Suppose a manufacturer fails to provide a refund or replacement for a defective item after a reasonable number of attempts to repair it. In that case, the consumer may be eligible for protection under the law.
What does the car lemon law cover?
The car lemon law covers any defects that affect the car’s use, value, or safety. This includes engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, electrical system, air conditioning, and more defects. For instance, if your car is constantly breaking down and you can’t seem to get it fixed, you may be protected under the lemon law. Car Lemon Laws do not cover normal wear and tear or damage resulting from an accident.
Types of Defects Covered Under the Lemon Law
Lemon laws cover two varieties of defects:
1. Safety defects: These can cause injuries or death. For example, if your car’s brakes fail, this would be considered a safety defect.
2. Non-safety defects: These are defects that do not pose a safety risk but still affect the use or value of the car. For instance, if your car’s air conditioning doesn’t work, this would be considered a non-safety defect.
What steps should you take if you think your car is a Lemon?
If you feel that your car is a lemon or have a suspicion that your car might be a lemon, follow these steps to help you get a refund or replacement car.
1. Keep track of all repairs: Keep records of all repairs made to your car. This will help you prove that you have attempted to fix the problem.
2. Contact the manufacturer: If you are still under warranty, contact the manufacturer and let them know about the problem. Many manufacturers have programs in place to help with lemon cars.
3. Get a second opinion: If you are no longer under warranty, get a second opinion from a qualified mechanic. This will help you determine if the problem is a lemon.
4. File a complaint: If you have attempted to fix the problem and it is still not resolved, you can file a complaint with your state’s consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau.
5. Seek legal help: If you are still not getting results, you may need legal help. An experienced lemon law attorney can help you get the refund or replacement car you deserve.
How to File a Lemon Law Claim in Florida.
If you decide to file a claim under the lemon law, there are a few things you will need to do.
1. Gather your records: Be sure to have all of your records in order before you file a claim. This includes repair orders, receipts, and other documentation to help prove your case.
2. Know the deadlines: There are deadlines for filing a lemon law claim, so be sure to know when they are. In Florida, the deadline is within 24 months of the date of purchase or lease.
3. File a complaint: You must file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You can do this online, by mail, or in person.
4. Serve the manufacturer: Once you have filed your complaint, you will need to serve the manufacturer with a copy. This can be done by certified mail, personal service, or commercial carrier.
5. Go to mediation: After you have served the manufacturer, you will need to attend a mediation session. This is an informal meeting where both sides will try to resolve. You can proceed with a formal hearing if you cannot resolve the issues.
These are just a few things to remember if you think your car is a lemon. For more information, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury law attorney.
Claim Categories under the Lemon Law.
There are generally two different types of claims that can be filed under the lemon law:
1. Refund Claim:
This type of claim is filed when the consumer requests a refund for the car’s purchase price. Sometimes, the consumer may also be entitled to reimbursement for taxes, license fees, and other incidental costs. For instance, if you paid $30,000 for your car and it turned out to be a lemon, you could get a refund for the total purchase price.
2. Replacement Claim:
This type of claim is filed when the consumer requests a replacement car. Sometimes, the consumer may also be entitled to reimbursement for taxes, license fees, and other incidental costs. For instance, if you paid $25,000 for your car and it turned out to be a lemon, you could get a replacement car of the same make and model.
Which type of claim you file will generally depend on your specific circumstances. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the type of claim that is best for you.
What are reasonable repair attempts?
The number of reasonable repair attempts will vary from case to case. However, as a general rule, the lemon law generally requires that the manufacturer have a reasonable number of attempts to fix the problem.
What is considered a reasonable number of repair attempts will generally depend on the severity of the problem. For instance, if the problem is a severe safety issue, it may only take one or two repair attempts to be considered reasonable. On the other hand, if the problem is a minor issue, it may take several repair attempts to be considered reasonable.
In addition, the lemon law generally requires that the problem substantially impair the car’s use, value, or safety. This means that the problem must be severe enough to prevent you from using the car as intended. For instance, if your car is constantly breaking down and you can’t depend on it to get to work, the problem would likely be considered substantial.
If you are unsure whether the number of repair attempts is reasonable, contact an experienced personal injury law attorney. They can give you a free consultation and review your case, helping you determine whether the number of repair attempts is reasonable.
Frequently asked questions about Lemon Laws.
While you are not required to have an attorney to file a lemon law claim, it is highly recommended. The lemon law can be complex and challenging to navigate, and an experienced attorney can help increase your chances of success.
The statute of limitations for filing a lemon law claim is generally two years from the date of purchase. However, it is essential to note that this may vary depending on your circumstances. For instance, if your car is still under warranty, you may have more time to file a claim.
Generally, there are no filing fees associated with lemon law claims. However, you may be responsible for some costs, such as the cost of an independent inspection or expert witness testimony.
If you can’t afford to take your car back to the dealership for repairs, you may be entitled to a rental car. In some cases, the manufacturer or dealer may even be responsible for the cost of the rental car.
If the manufacturer or dealer doesn’t agree that your car is a lemon, you may be able to file a claim with your state’s consumer protection agency. You can also contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the legal process.