The Law Office of Darin Siefkes Texas Lemon Law

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A Lemon Law Refresher

In the Lone Star State, lawmakers understand that motorists shouldn’t be held liable for a vehicle that came equipped with coasters, heated seats, and a plethora of manufacturing defects. That’s why they passed the Texas Lemon Law, a law designed to provide motorists with relief in the event that their newly purchased vehicle happens to be a lemon. But like many laws, the Texas Lemon Law has a number of stipulations that must be carefully adhered to. 

In this article, we’ll be providing a refresher on the Texas Lemon Law and discussing steps in the claims process. Staying up to date with the Texas Lemon Law is crucial for obtaining relief and turning lemons into lemonade. If you’re asking, “What is the lemon law in Texas?” consult an experienced lawyer from the Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC. 

What Does the Lemon Law Cover? 

If it’s newly purchased, covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty, and has wheels, it’s probably covered by the lemon law in Texas. As stated on the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) website, “New vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, motor homes, towable recreational vehicles (TRVs), and neighborhood electric vehicles that develop a defect(s) covered by a manufacturer’s written warranty” are covered. 

Related: What Is an Express Warranty? 

Is My Vehicle a Lemon? 

It’s not enough for your vehicle’s check engine light to come on. In order for your malfunctioning vehicle to be considered a lemon under the lemon law in Texas, it has to be repaired not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times by an authorized dealer. These repairs must occur within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. This four-times test is pretty straightforward; however, there are other ways of determining whether or not your vehicle is a lemon.

If your vehicle has been out of commission for a total of 30 days or repaired twice for a serious safety-hazard during the first 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first, your vehicle qualifies as a lemon. Just be sure to hold on to any and all repair orders and records that support your claim.

Related: Lost Your Repair Invoices? Consult the Dealer

Do I Get a New Car? 

Not necessarily. Depending on the specifics of your case, the TxDMV will elect to refund, replace, or repair your vehicle if you win. If repair is elected, the manufacturer must then repair the vehicle, which is what got you into this situation in the first place. And if a refund is elected, you will be refunded the full purchase price of the vehicle minus a charge for using it. Working with an experienced attorney is essential for obtaining the form of relief that is most beneficial for you. If you have your heart set on a new car, work with the Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC. 

If you are asking, “what is the lemon law in Texas?” and would like to speak with an experienced attorney, 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.

Does My Lemon Qualify for a Claim?

The origin of the term “lemon” actually comes from British culture. A lemon refers to any product of substandard quality. Early in the 20th century, Americans began using the term to describe anything worthless. By the 1960s, the term became common to refer to cars of little to no value. Today, there’s over 100,000 new cars manufactured every year that qualify as lemons. In this brief article, a vehicle lemon law attorney in Texas will discuss what qualifies as a lemon in the State of Texas. If you are wondering whether or not you own a lemon, reach out to the experienced lemon law lawyers at the Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC. 

A Common Problem With Lemons

One common misconception car owners have is whether or not they truly own a lemon by law or just a faulty car. With the popularity of the term lemon, you may think that your car’s defective radio or broken AC unit makes it a lemon. Although these are extremely annoying inconveniences, they don’t render your car inoperable. Similarly, a rattling noise coming from under the hood or squeaky brakes are concerning, but they do not guarantee that you will qualify under Texas Lemon Law. 

To qualify for a lemon law claim in Texas, your car must have a substantial defect covered under warranty. Furthermore, you must have made several attempts to have this issue fixed at a reputable dealership. There are a variety of additional requirements that a vehicle lemon law lawyer in Texas can fill you in on, including what’s considered a reasonable number of attempts to fix the car or what exactly is covered under warranty. However, the condition of a car is one of the primary elements for determining whether or not it qualifies as a lemon. If your car isn’t legally considered to have a substantial defect, it won’t qualify. 

What is a Substantial Defect?

Substantial defects are covered under Texas Lemon Law. Under the legal definition, substantial defects relate to the drivability, value, and safety of the vehicle. Let’s look at each of these elements a bit more closely:

Drivability

The drivability of the car refers to whether or not the vehicle is able to be used. In other words, if the owner can’t operate or control the car, the car is considered to have a substantial defect. Here are some common examples of a car that lacks drivability: 

  • Doesn’t turn over or turns over but doesn’t start
  • Starts and abruptly dies 
  • Shuts off when coming to a stop
  • Hesitates when you accelerate
  • Lacks power on acceleration
  • Misfires or backfires under load

Safety

A substantial defect is a serious safety issue for the driver (and other motorists). Simply feeling uneasy while operating your vehicle isn’t enough to qualify. When a car is truly a lemon, it contains a life-threatening defect that creates a tremendous amount of risk for the driver operating the vehicle. Moreover, if the defect results in the driver failing to have control of the vehicle, this is a legitimate safety issue. 

Value

The value of the car is closely associated with both the drivability and safety of the vehicle. As an unsafe car with zero drivability is really just a lawn ornament, a substantial defect will dramatically impact the potential resale value of the car compared to a much smaller issue, like a faulty radio. If your vehicle is under warrant and has a substantial defect, a manufacturer may be obligated to refund you of all of the money you invested in the vehicle minus usage fees.   

Texas Lemon Law is highly complicated. As if the stress of investing in a lemon isn’t enough, learning about lemon law and navigating your way through a successful claim without the assistance of an experienced vehicle lemon law attorney in Texas presents many challenges. To learn more about Texas Lemon Law and your rights, partner with a lemon law firm today. 

If you would like to speak with an experienced vehicle lemon law lawyer in Texas about issues you’re having with your new car, 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.

6 Common Questions a Texas Lemon Law Attorney Can Answer

If you recently purchased a new vehicle that is left sitting in your garage in a state of disrepair, you likely have a few questions related to lemon law and filing a claim. Under Texas Lemon Law, if you recently bought a new car, you may be eligible for relief. In this article, a vehicle lemon law attorney in Texas will answer several common questions related to eligibility requirements to file a claim.

If you recently purchased a new vehicle that’s showing signs of a serious defect and covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, consult the Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, for knowledgeable and experienced representation. 

Here are six questions to determine if relief is an option: 

1) Did you purchase, repair, or register your vehicle in the State of Texas?

Each state has their own criteria for lemon law protections and their own governing body that administers lemon law. Texas Lemon Law is regulated by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). In order to qualify for a claim in Texas, your vehicle must be related (bought, repaired, or registered) to the Longhorn State in some form. 

2) Does your lemon involve multiple states?

If you purchased or had repair work performed at a dealership in another state, you may qualify for a lemon law claim in either Texas or the other state. If your vehicle is connected to the State of Texas or involved in other states (including Texas), consult an attorney.          

3) Did you purchase the car from a licensed dealer?

You must have purchased your new vehicle from a licensed dealer or leasing company to qualify. Similarly, any repair work must be performed at a certified dealership. If you bought the car from a friend, lemon law won’t bend. 

4) Is the problem recurring? Is it considered a serious defect?

Although a rattle is unsettling, it doesn’t necessarily constitute a lemon law claim. The issue must be recurring and considered “serious.” For example, if the vehicle backfires under acceleration, lacks power, intermittently dies, runs poorly or can’t turn over, these are all examples of a car with poor drivability. Furthermore, any problem that presents safety concerns is a serious defect.  

5) Is the issue covered under the manufacturer’s warranty?

A lot of people purchase a new vehicle, have a problem, and assume their car is covered, only to find that the recurring issue is not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Similarly, other people may be dealing with an issue covered under the warranty, only to find that the terms of the warranty have expired. Vehicle warranties can be a complex topic, as the terms within a warranty can vary significantly. Fortunately, a vehicle lemon law attorney in Texas can provide you with valuable insight related to your warranty and whether or not you qualify for a claim.  

6) Did you report the defect to the dealer or manufacturer?

There are specific steps you must take before relief can be obtained. First, you must give the dealership or manufacturer the opportunity to make things right. Whether or not your lemon qualifies under Texas Lemon Law depends on the number of times you took the car in for repairs, when the repairs occured, and the total mileage of your vehicle at the time of those repairs. 

To learn whether or not your lemon meets requirements to file a claim in Texas, speak with legal counsel experienced in vehicle lemon law in Texas. We can assess your potential claim and, if you qualify, assist you with filing a complaint. As there are strict deadlines associated with Texas Lemon Law, do not hesitate to contact a lemon law firm. 

If you would like to learn more about vehicle lemon law in Texas or to speak with one of our experienced lemon law attorneys about issues you’re having with your new car, 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.