The Law Office of Darin Siefkes Texas Lemon Law

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What Is an Express Warranty?

Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, any company selling a product worth more than $15 must supply a written express warranty for their product. Automobiles are among the most expensive products available to consumers on the market today, which is why all new vehicles come with an express warranty from the manufacturer essentially guaranteeing that the vehicle meets all standards and will perform as advertised; otherwise, repair costs will be at the manufacturer’s expense.

There are many different types of warranties, including limited, bumper to bumper, and powertrain. The type of coverage you have will dictate whether or not you qualify for relief when your vehicle starts to exhibit defects, so it’s important to understand the particulars of your warranty and take action as soon as possible when things go south. As long as your vehicle is still covered by its express warranty, and you’ve made reasonable attempts to have the vehicle repaired at a certified dealership, a Texas Lemon Law attorney can assist you. 

The Seller’s Promise

The express warranty acts as a contract between the seller and the buyer of the product. This contract establishes the seller’s duty to provide repair or replacement of any components or products included in the warranty for a certain duration of time. In other words, the buyer doesn’t have to worry about their hard-earned money going to waste on a faulty product. Value is preserved for both buyer and seller, and sellers are incentivized to invest in the production of quality goods to avoid backend costs. With an express warranty, the principle of caveat emptor need not cloud the confidence of consumers. 

Advertising and Your Warranty

Although an express warranty detailing the specifics of coverage should be provided to the buyer after purchase, many aspects of an express warranty can be sussed from advertisements that make claims relating to the quality, functionality, lifespan, and efficacy of a particular vehicle. False advertising is illegal, so it stands to reason that these claims made to bolster the salability of a vehicle are inherently true under the Lanham Act. Therefore, even without fully understanding the scope of a warranty, consumers can draw conclusions about the quality and functionality of their vehicle from advertised claims.

How Express Warranties Relate to the Texas Lemon Law

As Texas Lemon Law attorneys serving clients all over the Lone Star State, The Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, understands the importance of the express warranty and how it affects a consumer’s ability to get relief in the form of a repurchase, replacement, or restitution. The Texas Lemon Law covers any vehicle still under the manufacturer’s express warranty. 

If you aren’t sure if your vehicle is eligible for potential relief, fill out our free case evaluation form. Remember that your case will be contingent on your ability to pass one of the qualifying tests for reasonable repair attempts, such as the Four Times Test, Serious Safety Hazard Test, and 30 Day Test. A Texas Lemon Law attorney can not only help you determine whether or not you have a case, but also issue a demand letter to the manufacturer and engage in negotiations on your behalf. Arbitration and litigation may also be options depending on your case.

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.

2 Truths and a Lie: Texas Lemon Law Edition

Lemon law cases in Texas are oftentimes more complicated than they have any right to be. The Texas Lemon Law statute is relatively black and white, but many consumers falsely believe they have a case without reliable evidence to prove it. There are two main questions to consider when determining whether or not your vehicle qualifies for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law statute

  • Is my vehicle still covered under the manufacturer’s express warranty? 
  • Did I give the manufacturer a reasonable number of repair attempts to sort out the problem with my vehicle?

If the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” a Texas Lemon Law attorney may be able to help you gain relief for your defective vehicle in the form of a repurchase, replacement, or monetary compensation. In this article, we’ll discuss three potential lemon law cases in Texas. Two of these scenarios meet the criteria for a possible case, and the remaining one doesn’t. After evaluating these cases, you can have your own case evaluated for free by an attorney from The Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC, here.

Scenario #1: Stewart Steering Wheel

Stewart Steering Wheel recently purchased a brand new Chevrolet Silverado. After one month of ownership, he starts to suspect that his new truck, which is still under warranty, is defective. He has experienced a temporary loss of electric power steering on multiple occasions, and although it hasn’t lead to an accident, he’s worried that it’s only a matter of time before his new vehicle is a twisted pile of scrap in the middle of the highway. Over the next few months, he takes the Silverado in for service a number of times at the dealership he purchased it from. They are unable to resolve the issue, so he keeps a record of his repair invoices to show a Texas Lemon Law attorney. Does Stewart have a potential lemon law case for his Chevrolet?

Scenario #2: Debbie “Death Wobble”

Debbie “Death Wobble” just purchased a used 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s still covered by its express warranty (3 years/36,000 miles), but its repair history shows that it has been serviced at multiple dealerships. She got a great deal, but three months after purchase, it starts to suffer from the iconic “death wobble” linked to various Jeep models over the years. Now, she’s wondering, is my Jeep a lemon? Furthermore, she’s unsure whether or not she qualifies for relief under the Texas Lemon Law since her vehicle is used. Does Debbie have a case?

Scenario #3: Ricky Rattle

Ricky Rattle purchased a Chrysler 300 this year to take advantage of the new powertrain warranty being offered on all vehicles (5 years/100,000 miles). He was recently promoted, and he finds himself commuting to work from San Antonio to his company’s Austin office for the first two years of ownership. Due to this, he quickly puts miles on the vehicle. One day, he notices that his transmission is slipping and rattling during acceleration, so he takes it into the dealership to learn more. At this moment, he realizes that his odometer has ticked past the 100.000-mile mark. The mechanic confirms that the transmission is defective, but does this mean his Chrysler is a lemon? And is there anything he can do to get relief?

Which Two Scenarios Most Likely Qualify?

Scenario #1 (Truth): The first example illustrates a nearly perfect candidate for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law statute. Stewart purchased a new vehicle under warranty. He was proactive in trying to get the vehicle repaired a reasonable number of times and maintained a record of repair invoices. 

Scenario #2 (Truth): This is a tricky case. Although Debbie’s vehicle is used, it’s still covered by the manufacturer’s express warranty — this is key for lemon law cases in Texas. The spotty and inconsistent repair history could prove to be problematic, but with a clear record of repair invoices, a Texas Lemon Law attorney will be able to make an accurate determination as to whether or not she qualifies. If no major repairs were performed by third-party mechanics, she could very well still qualify for potential relief.

Scenario #3 (Lie): This last scenario illustrates why familiarizing yourself with the particulars of your vehicle’s express warranty is so important. Ricky purchased a new vehicle, but he was forced to drive it so much for work that he exhausted his coverage prematurely. When he did notice that an issue with his transmission was affecting his ability to drive his Chrysler 300, it was already too late because he had crossed the 100,000-mile mark indicating that his warranty was no longer valid.

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

3 Little Known Facts About the Texas Lemon Law

Resolving lemon law cases in Texas isn’t as simple as declaring that your new vehicle is defective and receiving relief in the form of a repurchase, a replacement, or monetary compensation. The Texas Lemon Law statute is both complex and specific, and consumers who fail to come to grips with the ins and outs of this law may find themselves unable to obtain relief without the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

Despite the many resources available to consumers, filing a successful lemon law complaint can be more challenging than anticipated. Information found online isn’t always consistent with the Texas Lemon Law statute, and determining whether your vehicle meets the criteria for a bonafide lemon requires a precise, impartial examination of your case. If your car is spending more and more time at the dealership for repairs, consult the lawyers at The Law Office of Darin Siefkes, PLLC to see if you are eligible for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law statute

1. Lemon Law Cases in Texas are Resolved on a Case-by-Case Basis

Whether or not you have a case for your potentially defective vehicle is largely determined by your ability to show proof of the elements of a lemon law claim. You can’t rely on the past experiences of others to obtain relief, even when a recall has been issued for your vehicle. In other words, just because another person submitted a successful claim for a similar issue doesn’t mean you will too. As soon as your vehicle starts to exhibit signs of being defective, you need to maintain a logbook of all repair invoices (with dates), important documents, and even notes on conversations you have held with the dealer, manufacturer, and service technicians. This will help your lawyer determine whether or not you have a case. 

2. The Texas Lemon Law Statute Doesn’t Cover (Most) Used Vehicles

The Texas Lemon Law was designed to provide relief for consumers who purchase vehicles under warranty only to find that their vehicle has a serious defect or abnormal condition covered by their warranty. These laws do not apply to the majority of used vehicles since many of these vehicles are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s written warranty; however, used vehicles under warranty still qualify for repair. If your vehicle doesn’t qualify under the Texas Lemon Law, there are other laws that may be utilized to provide other forms of relief to those who purchase used lemons. Consult an attorney who handles lemon law cases in Texas to see if your vehicle qualifies.

3. Negotiating Directly with the Manufacturer May Hinder Your Claim

Attempting to reach out to the manufacturer directly to resolve your lemon law complaint is a recipe for disaster. Manufacturers will oftentimes dismiss a claim before it even has a chance to succeed. They hire experienced paralegals to assess cases and determine whether or not you have a potential case. If you want to level the playing field, you’ll want to equip yourself with an attorney to ensure that your complaint is irrefutable. Many consumers wrongly assume that they have a lemon simply because their car makes strange noises or shakes when they hit a certain speed. Unfortunately, these signs aren’t always indicative of a substantial defect that affects the value of the vehicle. 

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.