Purchasing a new automobile comes with mixed feelings. Joy and excitement will travel throughout your body.
It’s always nice to get a new vehicle, but it’s important for you to take certain precautions. This will help you avoid getting a troubled automobile. Unfortunately, many consumers around the country fail to take this approach.
What happens when you buy a troubled vehicle? Luckily, you can turn to the Texas Lemon Law.
What is the Texas Lemon Law?
It is a comprehensive set of regulations that protect consumers from defective motor vehicles. This includes the following: cars, trucks, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles.
Please keep in mind that this law does not cover used vehicles.
If you buy a lemon vehicle in Texas, you can get a full refund or a replacement vehicle. You will also be eligible to get reimbursed for finance charges, breakdown costs, etc.
Getting more information about the Texas Lemon Law will protect your rights as a consumer. If you want to take full advantage of this exceptional law, you need to know when it applies. You must also know how to file a complaint against the seller.
What are the Requirements for Your Automobile to fall under the Texas Lemon Law?
Having problems with a new vehicle can be frustrating for anyone. Yes, the Texas Lemon Law is there to protect consumers, but there are some important things you need to know.
For instance, one small problem with your car or truck does not mean that you can file a complaint and get instant justice. Some issues are not covered by the Texas Lemon Law.
Let’s use conventional wisdom for a moment. Can you imagine what the automobile industry would look like if everyone received a refund after filing a complaint? The number of automobile manufacturers would decline.
The Lemon Law in Texas gives the manufacturer four attempts to rectify the problem. This covers non-safety hazard problems.
What Makes a Lemon Car in the State of Texas?
When it comes to lemon cars, Texas law says the following:
- The same issue continues to exist after four or more attempts by the franchised dealer, distributor, or manufacturer to fix the defect.
- Two of those repair attempts were made within 12,000 miles or 12 months (whichever comes first) following the date of the purchase.
- The final two repair attempts were made within 12,000 miles or 12 months (whichever comes first) following the date of the second repair attempt.
- The automobile has been out of service for repair for 30 days or more within the first two years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first), and at least two efforts were made to rectify the problem within 12,000 miles or the first year following the date the automobile was sent to the consumer.
If the issue is a “serious safety hazard”, the seller must make an earnest effort to fix the vehicle. At least one time before 12,000 miles/12 months, and the second time within 12,000 miles/12 months of the first attempt.
Proving the Texas Lemon Law Applies
If you are experiencing a problem with your automobile, this does not automatically mean that your vehicle will be classified as a lemon. The manufacturer or dealer must have made an effort to resolve the issue four or more times.
If the issue can put the occupants lives in danger, the dealer or manufacturer gets one opportunity to fix the problem. This includes automobiles that have been off the road for more than 30 days.
Having documentation will help you prove your case.
1. Taking Notes
Keeping records of all events is the best way to prove that the automobile is a lemon.
This includes: Names, dates, and details of all communication with the manufacturer or dealer.
Make certain that your service records are up to par. Ask the dealer to add conversations to their notes. This will help eliminate future problems.
2. Take Servicing Recommendations Seriously
It may seem like a losing cause, but you should continue taking your automobile to the dealer. This will help you cause. If you keep proper documentation, this will make it easier for you to prove that you did your part in trying to solve the problem.
However, your attorney may tell you to stay away from the dealer. If so, please take their legal advice.
3. Honor the Warranty
Please make sure you honor your warranty. Your warranty may state that you are only permitted to take your vehicle to an authorized service center. If you take your vehicle to a private mechanic, the dealer can void your warranty.
Remedies from the Texas Lemon Law
Let’s say your automobile falls under the Texas Lemon Law. You must file a complaint and go through the legal process before you get any of the Texas Law remedies.
If your complaint is successful, the manufacturer will be required to provide one of the following remedies:
- Replace the defective automobile with a comparable automobile
- Reimburse you for incidental costs if the law requires the manufacturer to replace your vehicle or buy back your vehicle
- Repair the defect and reimburse you for all out-of-pocket expenses
- Buy back your vehicle for the full purchase price (this includes title, licensing, and taxes)
In the state of Texas, you must file a Lemon Law complaint within six months (depending on which comes first):
- 24 months
- 24,000 miles following the date of vehicle’s delivery
- Express warranty term expiration
The filing period is determined by which of the above events comes first. To be on the safe side, you should file your complaint when you see that the dealer is failing to resolve the problem with your vehicle.
If you are past the time limit allowed for a repurchase, the Motor Vehicle Board may be able to help you get repairs under your warranty.
The Texas Lemon Law is here to protect you against defective vehicles. You can file the complaint and go through the process. However, you should consider hiring an attorney. You may get better results.