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The Law Office of Darin Siefkes Texas Lemon Law

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Tips for a Successful Lemon Law Claim

If you purchased a new vehicle with substantial defects that impair its use, safety, or value, you may be eligible to file a lemon law claim. In this brief article, a vehicle lemon law attorney in Texas with the Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, goes over a few key tips for successfully filing a Texas Lemon Law claim. 

Related: Does My Lemon Qualify for a Claim? 

Keep Detailed Records

Meticulous record keeping can mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful lemon law claim, as a vehicle lemon law lawyer in Texas will need these records to build and present your claim.  The recordkeeping process should begin from the time you first purchase the vehicle, and any problems with the vehicle should be immediately and accurately documented. Due to the fact that drivers must show that they have made “reasonable attempts” to let the manufacturer repair the defect, you should keep a record of: 

  • When you first took in the vehicle for repairs
  • What repairs took place 
  • How long the repair lasted before your vehicle was returned 

Avoid leaving the repair facility without a copy of the work order. If the work order is inaccurate, have it fixed by the dealer. Additionally, keep a copy of the invoice you receive following the repair. This will prevent any discrepancies between your records and the dealer’s records and prevent the dealership from claiming you did not attempt to have the vehicle repaired. 

Related: 3 Things to Look For in a Lemon Law Claim

Notify the Manufacturer

In order to invoke lemon law and make a claim, you must provide notice to your vehicle’s manufacturer that you are experiencing a defect-related problem. This notice should come in the form of a certified letter with a return receipt to the nearest regional office of the manufacturer listed in your vehicle’s documentation. We recommend that the letter come from a law firm.  You should bring a copy of the letter with you to the dealership when you bring your vehicle in for repairs and keep a copy for your own records.

The letter should include:

  • The make, model, year, and VIN of the vehicle 
  • The date it came into your possession 
  • Where you purchased the vehicle
  • A list of defects found by the dealership 
  • How many times you have taken the vehicle into the dealership for repairs

It’s important to state that the manufacturer has breached their express and implied warranty, your demand to have the vehicle repaired or replaced, and how the manufacturer can contact you. 

Hire a Lemon Law Attorney

Finally, the most invaluable resource for filing a lemon law claim will be a vehicle lemon law attorney in Texas familiar with Texas Lemon Law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and other relevant state laws required to successfully file your claim. First, the attorney will help you determine whether or not you have cause to file a claim and if your vehicle is covered under Texas Lemon Law. Then, they will help you understand the claim filing deadlines as well as what needs to be done within the required time frame. Even if you think you have a decent grasp on Texas Lemon Law, it would be beneficial to consider having someone else represent you, as consumers are at a major disadvantage against manufacturers and their legal teams. 

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.

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.