An attorney can be a powerful ally when you need to file a lemon law claim against an automobile manufacturer for relief, but many consumers fail to take heed in the frantic rush to rid themselves of their newly discovered lemon.
At The Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, our Texas Lemon Law attorneys have handled hundreds upon hundreds of claims all across the State of Texas. Our intimate knowledge of the Texas Lemon Law, as well as other laws like the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, help us determine whether or not you have cause to file a claim so you don’t act prematurely and compromise your right to potential relief. In this brief article, we will detail three reasons why you should hire an attorney before you file a lemon law claim in Texas.
1. Avoid Common Misconceptions About the Texas Lemon Law
You might think that purchasing a defective vehicle automatically qualifies you for relief under the Texas Lemon Law, but this is far from the truth. There are many misconceptions about the scope and coverage of the Texas Lemon Law.
First and foremost, many consumers believe that all cars qualify for all aspects of Texas Lemon Law. While the Texas Lemon Law technically covers all vehicles under manufacturer’s warranty, only new cars are eligible for vehicle repurchase or replacement.
Another common misconception is that a lemon law claim can be filed at anytime. This is also false. Claim filing deadlines are relatively short. You’ll be required to demonstrate that you made “reasonable attempts” to have your car fixed at a certified service center within the first 24,000 miles or 24 months of purchase to qualify. Our Texas Lemon Law attorneys can help you identify a lemon by looking at your past repair invoices and helping you file a claim within the required time frame.
Additionally, the Texas Lemon Law may apply differently based upon when the vehicle was purchased. In 2017, requirements for the Four Times Test were amended to require proof of four repairs being attempted within the first two years or 24,000 miles of a vehicle purchase. The new rule applies to vehicles bought on September 1, 2017 or later so the test is now different for a vehicle purchased in July 2017 versus one bought in 2018. A Texas Lemon Law attorney can help you ascertain whether or not your vehicle qualifies for potential relief.
2. Negotiating Directly with the Manufacturer Can Lead to a Dismissed Claim
When it comes to lemon law claims in Texas, negotiating with the manufacturer yourself doesn’t always work. Manufacturers are well-armed against claims and employ paralegals with comprehensive knowledge of each state’s unique lemon laws to assess cases. In other words, consumers are typically at a disadvantage when trying to negotiate their side of the case.
Moreover, many consumers fail to meet the appropriate requirements for potential lemon law relief including misapplication or misinterpretation of the Four Times Test, Serious Safety Hazard Test, or 30 Day Test. When you hire an attorney to handle your claim, you are essentially balancing the scales against the manufacturer while giving yourself a markedly better chance of submitting a viable claim.
3. Pursue Alternative Statutes for Potential Relief
The Texas Lemon Law isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for your lemon woes. A Texas Lemon Law attorney may be able to help you obtain relief under other laws including the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. When you purchase a new car and suspect that it’s a lemon, don’t limit your options, consult an attorney.
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.