Top 5 Lemon Law Tips
If you think you have a lemon, it's important to know what to expect - and what's expected of you. Here are the top five tips covering what you need to know and what you need to do in order to get that lemon out of your life.
- Know Your Rights.
Lemon Laws are meant to protect consumers, but it's easy to get lost in the legal mumbo-jumbo and wind up more confused than ever. One of the best places to find out whether or not your vehicle is a lemon is to consult the Lemon Meter. You can also consult your state Attorney General's website or Lemon Justice's guide to state laws. Your best bet, though, is to consult a lemon law lawyer. A consultation doesn't cost anything and can help you understand your options.
- Keep Records.
Lemon Law cases are often lost on "he said-she said" arguments. It pays to thoroughly document every conversation you have with your repair shop, and to keep all repair records and copies of correspondence. The more written evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
- Jump through the Hoops.
Yes, Lemon Laws theoretically put the little guy on equal footing with the big automakers, but in reality there are a series of steps you must take to preserve your Lemon Law rights. For example, you may have to send a demand letter to the manufacturer via Certified Mail within a certain timeframe, or you might need to take your vehicle in for repair a third time before the odometer hits 18,000 miles. It's important not to skip any of the steps, because doing so may compromise your case.
- Expect to Settle.
Most car manufacturers don't want to go to court because a prolonged legal proceeding is very expensive. The chances are good that you'll be offered a settlement. Listen to the advice of your attorney, and if the settlement seems fair, accept it. Legal actions may not result in a favorable ruling for you - especially if you haven't jumped through every hoop - so it's often better to accept a decent settlement than to risk losing in court.
- Don't Throw in the Towel.
Even if your vehicle doesn't meet every single criterion for a lemon, you still may be able to achieve a settlement. With a Lemon Law attorney at your side, you can often be compensated for the hassle and the repair costs - even if the vehicle was eventually repaired.