Lemon Law Frequently Asked Questions

1. Check the vehicle’s warranty in order to inform yourself about the proper steps to take to guarantee legal recourse. (A warranty is a written guarantee that the vehicle is of good, sound quality.)

2. Hopefully, you can resolve the problem with your automobile dealer. They should want to remedy the problem to maximize future car sales.

3. If you cannot resolve the problem with your automobile dealer, contact our firm by calling us at 1-866-86-LEMON (1-866-865-3666), email us or complete our free case evaluation. We will attempt to quickly resolve the claim with the manufacturer at no cost to you. Should the manufacturer refuse to comply with it’s lemon law obligations we will promptly file suit seeking compensation for you. Should your case settle, all fees and costs will be paid by the manufacturer. Regardless of the outcome, you are never responsible for paying our fees and costs.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a lemon as: “One that is or proves to be unsatisfactory…” (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 2nd College Ed., © 1985). However, in an effort to further define such a broad term, the Lemon Law attempts to define certain situations which entitle consumers to their money back or a new vehicle. In a nutshell, any defect or nonconformity, or combination of defects, which is/are not repaired within a reasonable number of attempts or a reasonable amount of time, may entitle you to lemon law relief. Your vehicle does NOT have to be breaking down to be considered a lemon. In short, if you are aggravated enough to be reading this you may have a lemon.
There is really no such thing as “Qualifying.” This is a common misconception (sometimes spread by uninformed individuals at your authorized dealer). First, the standards that are used by the lemon law to define nonconformities and reasonable number of repair attempts can be interpreted differently by different people. Ultimately, those people may be a jury deciding you case. Second, there are other laws which can be used to help you receive compensation in the event that you do not have a case for technical reasons under the Lemon Law. (Also see “What if I do not Meet any of the presumptions.”)
The answer to that question depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. Therefore, at this point, the best thing to do is maintain the status quo until you have the chance to speak with a qualified attorney. In other words, do not allow the condition of the vehicle to change by having any repair work done to it. However, if your vehicle is dangerous and you continue to use it, you do so at your own risk. It is important to remember that if you decide to go forward many of the manufacturers will want to inspect your vehicle. You have a much better chance of obtaining the relief you seek if you can demonstrate a defect. If you cannot, you may still be entitled to compensation, but the chances of you getting what you want may be reduced somewhat.
Basically, it is the same as a Lemon Law case, however, with two notable differences. First, the standards or requirements for breach of warranty are not as clearly defined. Second, the remedies for breach of warranty are also not as clearly defined. Therefore, you should consult a qualified attorney to discuss whether you may have a breach of warranty case.
The ultimate relief in a Lemon Law Case is your money back or a new car. This is known as a “buy back” or a “repurchase.” When that occurs, the defective vehicle is returned to the manufacturer. This is usually done by returning it locally to one of their authorized dealers. Under a breach of warranty case the consumer obtains compensation in the form of a partial refund with continued ownership of the car. The vast majority of cases are settled under breach of warranty allowing the consumer to receive compensation with continued ownership of the car. In either recovery all attorney fees and costs are paid by the manufacturer.
Alex Simanovsky & Associates represents hundreds of consumers every year with defective vehicles. As with most cases, over 98% of these cases settle to the satisfaction of both parties. Remember, the manufacturer would rather pay less now than risk paying a much larger amount to you, your attorney and their attorneys later.
Most State’s Lemon Law provides that manufacturers may set up arbitration programs. These programs receive consumers’ complaints and are supposed to attempt to resolve the legitimate ones prior to a lawsuit being filed with a Court of Law. If the manufacturer has properly set up such a program and it is certified by the Attorney General, then the consumer’s case must proceed through such a program before a Complaint may be filed with a Court of Law. However, not all the manufacturers have such certified arbitration programs and many times the vehicle is ineligible for arbitration due to age or mileage, per the arbitration programs’ own rules. In those cases, the consumer may file a Complaint with a Court of Law without resorting to the arbitration procedure first.
First, if you still had any warranty left from the manufacturer when you purchased your vehicle (or your vehicle was “Certified” by the manufacturer or dealer), and you made at least one unsuccessful warranty claim before the warranty ended, you may be entitled to compensation for breach of warranty. If not, your case may raise a whole host of issues which are beyond the scope of this “Frequently Asked Questions” section. However, you may be entitled to compensation for violations of various laws which you may not even be aware of. The following is a list of some of the problems and/or issues which may be present in your vehicle. Your vehicle may be/have a: 1.Laundered lemon (or prior history of mechanical problems known to the seller); 2.Salvaged or wrecked; 3.Rolled back odometer; 4.Rental car, police car, taxi, etc.; 5.Stolen, stripped and rebuilt; and/or 6.Involved in a flood.
Again, your case may raise a whole host of issues which are beyond the scope of this “Frequently Asked Questions” section. However, there are many state and federal laws to protect you which Alex Simanovsky & Associates uses everyday to assist victims of fraudulent and deceptive sales practices. Some of these laws provide for very strong remedies, such as Three (3) Times your Damages and Attorney’s Fees and Costs. For example, if you lost $5,000.00, you may be entitled to recover $15,000.00 ($5,000.00 x 3), in addition to attorney’s fees and costs.
1. Fraud may be committed by an automobile dealership by misrepresenting or failing to disclose such things as the true condition of the vehicle (i.e., whether the vehicle was involved in an accident or sustained some type of damage when in possession of a prior owner), the true mileage of a vehicle or the true ownership history of the vehicle. Fraud may also occur when a dealership allows a consumer to take delivery of a vehicle prior to obtaining financing, promises to obtain financing, fails to do so and then refuses to return the consumer’s down-payment or trade-in vehicle.

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