The Law Office of Darin Siefkes Texas Lemon Law

What Drivers Need to Know About Changes to the Texas Lemon Law in 2020

Congratulations Texas drivers! We’re approaching a major milestone in the Texas Lemon Law: the elimination of the complicated repair attempts test that was replaced with the current model two years ago. Since the old test is based on the sale date of the vehicle, some drivers must still prove that they have a lemon using the old, complicated method. Fortunately, the statute of limitations on the lemon law is a maximum of two years and six months, which means nobody will have to deal with the old test for the majority of 2020.

In this article, a Texas Lemon Law attorney from The Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, will discuss the old, complicated test and the current test that all drivers should be familiar with when purchasing a new vehicle. Remember, the lemon law is highly specific and not all vehicles with “problems” will qualify for relief. To get a better idea of whether or not your vehicle qualifies for potential relief, keep a record of all your repair invoices and consult a Texas Lemon Law attorney.


Out With the Old

It’s not hard to see why the State of Texas revamped the repair attempts test two years ago. The old test was needlessly complicated and put illogical restrictions on the consumer and their vehicle. Let’s break it down: 

  • Under the Texas Lemon Law statute, the driver must be able to prove that their new vehicle has developed a “defect or condition that creates a serious safety hazard or substantially impairs the use or market value of the motor vehicle.”
  • In order to satisfy this statute, the consumer must show that a “reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to an applicable express warranty.”
  • Under the old statute, the driver would have to prove that “two of the repair attempts were made in the 12 months or 12,000 miles.” This time frame extended from the date the vehicle was received by the owner.
  • Then, the driver would have to repeat the above step, proving that their vehicle required another two repair attempts within the subsequent 12 months or 12,000 miles following the first two repair attempts.

Drivers were relieved when the news broke that a new repair attempts test procedure was being integrated into the Texas Lemon Law statute. Unfortunately, their jubilation was replaced with dismay shortly after when they discovered that the statute of limitations would keep the old test alive for certain drivers, depending on the date they purchased their vehicle.


In With the New

The current test is less nuanced than the original test, which is beneficial to drivers attempting to prove that their vehicle is a bonafide lemon. It combines the two halves of the test that was formerly used to create a single test. To prove that a vehicle qualifies for lemon law relief, the driver must simply show that the vehicle required four repairs over the course of two years or 24,000 miles, whichever came first. These repairs should be for a recurring problem that greatly limits the safety or value of the vehicle.

With the new repair attempts test, drivers only need to focus on a single time frame: the first two years from the date they purchased their vehicle. But that doesn’t mean proving that a vehicle has gotten any easier. Our Texas Lemon Law attorneys cannot stress this enough: drivers NEED to retain all repair invoices if they want their case to hold water. 

If you would like to speak with a Texas Lemon Law attorney about whether or not you are eligible for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law statute, 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.

5 Valuable Lemon Law Resources

Is the new vehicle you purchased still under warranty and acting up on a consistent basis? Do you find yourself spending more and more time at your dealer’s service center waiting for your car to be fixed? If this describes you, there’s a possibility that you purchased a lemon.

The Texas Lemon Law paves the way for consumers to receive compensation for a vehicle that exhibits some form of defect or condition that impairs its use in a critical way or significantly reduces its value.

No consumer expects their new vehicle to be a lemon, but it happens. Just ask those responsible for the 567 lemon law cases in Texas, 531 of which were closed, in 2018. If you believe that your vehicle qualifies for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law statute, consult the Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, to see how a lawyer with experience handling hundreds and hundreds of claims can help you potentially obtain a repurchase, replacement, or other form of compensation for your lemon. 

As you will see in this article, a Texas Lemon Law lawyer is arguably the most valuable resource for those seeking relief for a defective vehicle, but there are many other resources available for those that want to brush up on these complicated laws, too. 

1. Texas Lemon Law Lawyer

If you’re eager to get answers about whether or not your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, it may be time to consult a Texas Lemon Law lawyer. In addition to reviewing your repair invoices to see if your vehicle meets the “reasonable number of attempts” clause of the Texas Lemon Law, a lawyer can negotiate a settlement with the manufacturer on your behalf. Even if your vehicle doesn’t qualify as a lemon, a lawyer may be able to build a case using other vehicle warranty statutes, including the Texas Deceptive Practices Act (DTPA) and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

2. Tx-Lemon-Law.com

The Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, website contains several resources for consumers who want to learn more about the Texas Lemon Law. The frequently asked questions (FAQ) section is especially useful as it contains clear answers to a variety of questions, including:

  • What is the Texas Lemon Law?
  • What do I stand to gain by asserting a claim under the Texas Lemon Law?
  • How many repairs or days out of service do I need to establish a viable Texas Lemon Law case?
  • Who is the defendant in a Texas Lemon Law case?
  • What is the process for asserting  a Texas Lemon Law claim?
  • What other laws protect my rights?
  • Are there any time limits for bringing forth a Texas Lemon Law case?
  • What if I do not have enough repairs to have a viable case under the Texas Lemon Law?
  • Who pays your attorney fee?
  • How do I get started?
  • What type of documentation will I need to proceed?

We also maintain a modest library of articles designed to help answer your questions and inform your decision to seek compensation with legal help. These articles can be accessed here.

3. Texas Occupations Code ch. 2301

This chapter of the Texas Occupations Code covers the sale or lease of motor vehicles. The information contained therein helps explain general warranty complaints, the Texas Lemon Law, and judicial review and appeal processes. However, at around 30,000 words in length, it’s a dense read that may be overwhelming to those with only minimal legal knowledge of how lemon law cases in Texas operate.

4. 43 TAC 215

Title 43 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) discusses motor vehicle distribution. Within this code, Subchapter G details warranty performance obligations, including information pertaining to the filing and review of complaints, lemon law relief decisions, and more.

5. Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library includes a directory of articles, documents, and information pertaining to warranty law in the Lone Star State. There is a section related specifically to motor vehicles, the Texas Lemon Law, and optional warranties.

Whether you consult a Texas Lemon Law lawyer to determine whether or not your vehicle qualifies for potential relief or attempt to formulate your own assessment, it’s important to keep in mind that time is of the essence. Typically, you need to be able to demonstrate that your vehicle has undergone repairs for the same defect at least four times in total or for two repairs that restricted its use for 30 days. 

If you would like to find out whether or not you are eligible for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law statute, please submit our free case evaluation form today.

Is your new vehicle spending more and more time in the repair shop? If you would like to speak with 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.

Lost Your Repair Invoices? Consult the Dealer

Every consumer who purchases a car under warranty should keep a detailed record of all repair orders and invoices for their vehicle. There’s a few reasons for this.

For one, it helps keep the manufacturer accountable for the services they perform on your vehicle. Whether it’s a simple fix or a multi-stage repair, you want assurance that your money is being spent on professional services that actually help you get back on the road. When you purchase a new car, it’s best to have it serviced at a certified dealership’s service center. Subpar repair services can provide temporary fixes that help you get from point A to point B, but you risk the eventuality of your car breaking down again just beyond the scope of your warranty.

Another important reason to maintain a record of your repair invoices is because they are an essential element of establishing your case for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law. When a Texas Lemon Law attorney has access to your repair invoices, it makes it significantly easier to assess your case, propose a solution, and pursue the manufacturer for compensation for your lemon. 

Clearly, saving your repair invoices is an essential part of car ownership, especially if you want to protect your right to potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law. But what should you do if you lose your repair invoices? 

Consult Your Dealership’s Service Center

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) notes that, under the Texas Lemon Law, “You are required to allow the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect(s) before you may file a complaint for lemon law relief.” 

This means that consumers attempting to get their vehicles repaired by third-party vendors could lose their right to potential lemon law relief. Always consult your dealership’s service center for repairs. And if you lose your repair invoices, contact them for copies of your records. There’s a good chance that the dealership has an advanced recordkeeping system with an individual account for storing information pertaining to your vehicle. Any ethical dealer should happily oblige your request for repair records. Parts replacements have warranties and services that are often guaranteed for a certain amount of time or mileage, which means records should be retained for, at the very least, the length of the warranty. The Internal Revenue Service notes that these types of documents should be held for as long as seven years. One award-winning accounting firm also asserts that vehicle repair orders should be maintained for seven years.

Ask for Copies of All Repair Orders or Invoices and Your Service History

When you contact the dealer, you absolutely need to request complete copies of all repair orders (ROs) or invoices, but it doesn’t hurt to request a print out detailing your vehicle’s complete service history, too. That said, your ROs are the key to a successful claim — not the service history. Your ROs will provide a detailed breakdown of the work that has been performed on your vehicle. The service history may be able to help you illustrate the pattern of repairs, but the ROs provide the hard evidence your Texas Lemon Law attorney requires to assess your case.

However, if the dealer is unable (or unwilling) to give you new copies of your ROs, you should still request the complete service history for your vehicle. It’s not ideal for pursuing a claim, but a Texas Lemon Law attorney will do their best to prove that your vehicle is a lemon if you only have the service history available. The bottom line: if you’re currently dealing with a vehicle that you suspect to be a lemon, make sure that you save all of your ROs!

If you would like to speak to one of our Texas Lemon Law attorneys, please submit our free case evaluation form today.

Is your new vehicle spending more and more time in the repair shop? If you would like to speak with 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.