The Law Office of Darin Siefkes Texas Lemon Law

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Does a Demonstrator Vehicle Qualify for Potential Relief Under the Texas Lemon Law?

Demonstrator vehicles, commonly referred to as “demo vehicles,” are different from used and pre-owned vehicles. Typically, a demo vehicle will have anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 miles recorded on the odometer at the time of purchase. The miles aren’t the result of prior owners. Rather, they indicate that a vehicle has been transported, test driven, or, in some cases, utilized by an employee. This is a very common practice in the automobile industry. Owners and managers are commonly granted use of vehicles from the lot. These vehicles are still sold, but since they’re no longer technically “new,” they are designated as demo vehicles, resulting in a slight price adjustment to reflect their usage. 

But there’s good news for drivers that have purchased demo vehicles — the Texas Lemon Law applies to demo vehicles that are still covered by their express warranty. If you’ve purchased a demo vehicle that you now believe to be defective, save your repair invoices and consult an attorney that handles lemon law cases in Texas.


Are Demo Vehicles a Safe Purchase?

We can’t reinforce this point enough: demo vehicles are not used vehicles. Although they have been driven before, they aren’t considered “used” because they were never sold. This means that, in addition to having rights under the Texas Lemon Law statute, they also qualify for rebates, special financing, and, of course, the original manufacturer’s warranty. If you have any reservations about purchasing a demo vehicle, relax, you’re actually being given the opportunity to purchase a new vehicle at a great price with all of the same protections a non-demo version of the same vehicle would enjoy. However, demo vehicles aren’t right for every driver, and you should always consider the following before finalizing your decision:

  • Warranty: Demo vehicles are covered by their original manufacturer warranty, but you’ll have to factor in the miles already logged on the odometer to get a clearer picture of how much protection your warranty truly offers.
  • Wear and Tear: You would expect the wear and tear on a demo vehicle to be relatively minor. After all, anyone driving the car will most likely be an employee or someone supervised by an employee, so how bad could it be? You’d be surprised! If the vehicle was loaned to a customer whose car was being serviced for an extended period of time (perhaps another lemon?!), and the driver was irresponsible or didn’t care for the vehicle, it could have resulted in extra wear and tear. If you notice something that troubles you, bring it up to the dealer, there’s probably some wiggle room for the price if you do a little light haggling. Remember, wear and tear isn’t covered by the Texas Lemon Law statute, so don’t expect any relief for things like scratched leather or a missing radio dial.

Consult a Texas Lemon Law Attorney

Under the Texas Lemon Law, demo vehicles that are still under the manufacturer’s express warranty qualify for potential relief if the owner can prove that they have met the legal requirement for repair attempts. In other words, if the driver can provide evidence (i.e., repair invoices) showing that the vehicle has required repairs for the same issue four times within the first two years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first) of ownership, the Texas Lemon Law rules stipulate that the vehicle may qualify for a repurchase, a brand new replacement vehicle, or monetary compensation.

If you would like to speak with an attorney that handles lemon law cases 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.

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.