Lemon laws are enforced by the states to protect vehicle owners that have had significant defects in newly purchased or leased vehicles. If you have purchased or leased a vehicle in the last 12 months that has developed a defect that has substantially impaired the vehicles use, safety or value, you may be eligible for relief under the Texas Lemon Law. In order to reap these benefits, a few things have to happen.
4 Times Test
If your new vehicle has been acting up, and you have sought out repairs for the problem more than four times, you may be able to file a lemon law claim. You must have:
visited the dealership for repairs twice for the same problem in the first twelve months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first)
visited the dealership two more times for repairs, since your second repair attempt, within the first twelve months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first)
the problem must still exist after the fourth repair attempt
Safety Hazard Test
If the vehicle in question has developed a safety hazard that could be life-threatening and impedes the driver’s ability to control the vehicle, and you have visited the dealership for repairs two or more times, you will pass the safety hazard test. You must have:
visited the dealership for a repair once in the first twelve months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first)
visited the dealership a second time for repairs during the first twelve months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first)
the problem must still exist after the second repair attempt
If you pass either of these tests, you may be able to collect benefits. Even if you do not fall under one of these test categories, you may be able to still have a case against the manufacturer. If you are concerned about having a case, it is best to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
What You Can Gain
It is important to know that you have rights to gain something from the guilty party in this situation. Most would think that since you are returning to the dealership for repairs that the dealership would be the one at fault, but it is actually the manufacturer. If you are granted rights under the Lemon Law, you may be entitled to a repurchase of your vehicle, a brand new vehicle replacement or monetary compensation. If you choose to keep your vehicle, after all of this, and want monetary compensation, often an attorney can negotiate extended warranty for you.
It is important to remember when trying to prepare a case against a manufacturer under a Lemon Law is that many states have a Statute of Limitations for cases such as these. In Texas, the Statute of Limitations is 2 years following the delivery of the vehicle. Therefore, if you are wanting to build your case, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about the Texas Lemon Law and reside in the Dallas area, contact Crowe, Arnold & Majors.