The Law Office of Darin Siefkes Texas Lemon Law

Year in Review: Texas Lemon Law 2018 Part 2

As we’ve discussed previously, the Texas Lemon Law is one of the laws established to protect the rights of vehicle owners in the Lone Star State. Every year, hundreds of defective vehicle complaints are filed against automobile manufacturers through the TxDMV. Some of these complaints prove fruitful resulting in a repair, replacement, or repurchase of the defective vehicle, while others are unable to obtain relief. Hiring an attorney before you file a lemon law claim can help you prevent your claim from being invalidated or dismissed. Furthermore, an attorney can handle any necessary negotiations with the manufacturer on your behalf.

In part one of this two-part article, we discussed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Lemon Law Annual Report that was published by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles’ (TxDMV) Lemon Law Section and the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). We focussed on the general facts and figures and year-to-year changes from 2016 to 2018. Now, we will consult this report again focusing on the specific manufacturers and models that accounted for the most lemon law complaints in 2018. If you suspect that the new vehicle you purchased is defective, consult a Texas Lemon Law attorney from The Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, to see if you qualify for relief under the Texas Lemon Law or other statutes.

Chevrolet

The number of lemon law complaints filed in relation to Chevrolet vehicles has increased steadily over the last three years. In 2016, 42 complaints were filed with the TxDMV. In 2017 that number rose to 47 before jumping to 73 complaints in 2018. In the report, which identified 45 specific automobile manufacturers, Chevrolet had the second highest total percentage share of complaints at 12.87 percent. The issues centered primarily around the Camaro, Malibu, Silverado, and Traverse. If you suspect that your Chevrolet qualifies for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law, consult a Texas Lemon Law attorney.

Ford

Ford had yearly increases in the number of lemon law complaints filed against them from 2016 to 2018. 64 complaints were filed in 2016, followed by 74 in 2017 and 87 in 2018. Ford was responsible for 15.34 percent of all complaints filed in 2018, largely due to issues with their F-Series of light-duty and medium-duty trucks, which accounted for 6.53 percent of all lemon law complaints in Texas in 2018.

Jeep

Although the number of Jeep-related complaints in Texas has decreased marginally since 2016, they still average just over 36 complaints per year. In 2018, Jeep vehicles accounted for 6.53 percent of all complaints, giving them the third largest share overall. Our Texas Lemon Law attorneys may be able to assist you if you believe there’s an issue with your Jeep.

Is your new vehicle spending more and more time in the repair shop? If you would like to speak with one of our Texas Lemon Law attorneys, please submit our free case evaluation form today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Year in Review: Texas Lemon Law 2018 Part 1

In 1983, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Lemon Law to strengthen consumer protections against the involuntary purchase of defective vehicles. The ideological basis for the law was unequivocally sound due to the considerable cost associated with the purchase of new vehicles. When a person invests money into a vehicle, there is a realistic expectation that their purchase comes “as advertised.” In other words, new vehicles should be functional, safe, and free of defects that could potentially limit their value. Moreover, they should meet the standards of the manufacturer warranty.

When a new vehicle that is under warranty shows signs of substantial defects, the Texas Lemon Law statute gives consumers the opportunity for potential relief in the form of a repair, replacement, or repurchase. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles’ (TxDMV) Lemon Law Section and the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) publishes an annual report detailing the latest statistics related to the lemon law rules in Texas. In this two-part article, we will break down the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Lemon Law Annual Report.

Facts and Figures: 2018

Since 1993, the TxDMV has recorded a comprehensive report of cases involving the Texas Lemon Law statute on an annual basis. During this time, approximately 18,500 complaints have been filed with the TxDMV resulting in over $120 million in repurchase or replacement value for consumers in the Lone Star State. The most recent figures published by the TxDMV cover the FY 2018, including:

  • Total Texas Lemon Law complaints: 567 (26 percent increase since FY 2016)
  • Total closed Texas Lemon Law complaints: 531
  • Total complaints settled prior to TxDMV final decision: 186
  • Total repurchased or replaced vehicles: 15 (total value: $721,019.19)
  • Total number of vehicles reacquired from a settlement agreement after filing a complaint with the TxDMV: 52
  • Total number of out-of-state vehicles reacquired by manufacturers following repair of ostensible defects: 359

Year-to-Year Results

The lion’s share of lemon law complaints involve passenger cars and light trucks, typically consumer vehicles that are mass produced in factories. The last three years of data highlight an interesting trend related to the Texas Lemon Law. The number of lemon law complaints filed has steadily risen since 2016 (450 complaints) and 2017 (473 complaints), but so has the number of closed ineligible complaints (53, 107, and 181 respectively). In other words, people have become acutely aware of their right to potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law statute, but in many cases they are unable to gain relief since they do not understand the exact parameters for qualification under this statute.

As a result, the number of complaints closed with action has actually decreased every year since 2016, where 391 complaints were closed with action as opposed to 387 in 2017 and only 350 in 2018. Part of this can be contributed to a lack of knowledge about the lemon law rules in Texas. Before you attempt to file a complaint on your own, consult an attorney who has experience dealing with the Texas Lemon Law and other relevant laws to help you ascertain whether or not you qualify for potential relief.

We will continue to break down the FY 2018 Lemon Law Annual Report in part two.

Is your new vehicle spending more and more time in the repair shop? If you would like to speak with our attorneys regarding the lemon law rules in Texas, please submit our free case evaluation form today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Be Aware of Your Lemon Law Rights When Car Shopping

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out you’ve wasted valuable time shopping for a car that turns out to be a lemon. At The Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, we’ve heard the stories about buyers’ enthusiasm quickly turning sour as they discover that their brand new vehicle is unsafe or unfit to drive, scenarios in which a massive oil leak is revealed mere days into ownership or an engine starts to overheat without any stress being exerted on the vehicle.

New cars purchased in the State of Texas have protections under the lemon law in Texas, which helps consumers gain potential relief in the event that they purchase a vehicle that qualifies as a lemon after meeting various requirements. Consumers should be aware of these protections before they step foot in the dealership. Knowing your rights can help you take the correct action if your newly purchased vehicle has a defect that prevents you from being able to safely drive it or greatly reduces its value.

Notice at Time of Sale

When it comes to the lemon law rules in Texas, both the buyer and the seller need to be cognizant of the actions they must take to safeguard their rights. When you’re shopping for a new car, it’s important to remember that before you make a purchase, the dealer is responsible for providing a notice of the required complaint procedures established by the Texas Lemon Law. If the dealer simply indicates that these provisions are located in the manufacturers’ owners manual, they are not sufficiently satisfying this legal requirement. Such a notice must first be approved by the Consumer Affairs Section of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). To simplify this process, Consumer Affairs supplies two notices that have been approved and satisfy the “Notice at Time of Sale” requirement.

Posting the Required Notices

Additionally, franchise dealers in Texas must post the “NOTICE TO NEW MOTOR VEHICLE OWNERS” in accordance with the Texas Lemon Law and Occupations Code Chapter 2301.601 in clear and plain sight within the cashier area of the service department. Consumers should keep an eye out for these notices or ask to see them before finalizing a purchase agreement for a new vehicle. This notice should be easy to locate as they are to be printed on yellow paper according to the TxDMV. Verifying that these notices are being furnished to buyers and posted in the appropriate location in the dealership are two early indicators that the dealership understands and abides by the Texas Lemon Law.

Is your new vehicle spending more and more time in the repair shop? If you would like to speak with our lawyers about the lemon law in Texas, please submit our free case evaluation form today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.