Lemon Laws in Florida
The fundamental goal behind the original federal lemon law, also known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act was to accomplish the following:
1. Provide the consumer with easy to understand information regarding warranty terms and conditions prior to the purchase of a product.
2. Give consumers the opportunities to compare and contrast warranty coverage between manufactures of similar products.
3. Create competition and sales based on warranty coverage.
4. Encourage manufactures to improve existing benefits for performing warranty obligations in a reasonable time frame and to solve disputes regarding these warrantees while minimizing the time and expense to resolve the issues.
Florida Lemon Laws and Licensed Dealers
If your automobile or RV was purchased from a dealer licensed in Florida, you are covered by the State of Florida Motor Vehicle Laws. These licensed dealers must abide by Florida law when advertising the sale of vehicles. If you purchase a vehicle from a private party, you are not protected under Florida Motor Vehicle Law.
Licensed dealers are obligated by law to provide the consumer with all of the details regarding the cost of the vehicle with the exception of title fees, tax and tag information. This cost will become apparent however as “up-front” costs collected from the consumer by the dealership.
Florida’s New Car Lemon Law
The lemon law in Florida covers both new and demonstrator automobiles that are sold or leased long term. If an individual purchases a demonstrator vehicle they must be provided with a “Consumer Guide to the Florida Lemon Law” by the dealer. This guide provides the details regarding the customer’s rights and instructions for problem resolution.
Florida Lemon Law and the Used Vehicle Guide
There is not a lemon law for used vehicles in the State of Florida, however if you purchase a used vehicle in Florida, the dealer is required to provide a “Buyers Guide” in accordance with the used vehicle rules set fourth by the Federal Trade Commission. This may be indicated by a buyers guide sticker on the window of the automobile or RV.
The used vehicle guide will inform the consumer if the vehicle comes with a warranty and provide the details of the coverage. The used vehicle guide may also inform the consumer that the automobile or RV comes “As-Is” with no warranty at all. Clearly a vehicle that is purchased “As-Is” is not covered under the Florida lemon law and the dealer is under no obligation to repair that vehicle if a problem should arise.
Read the Contract
Although the Florida lemon law protects the consumer to a certain extent, purchasing a new or used vehicle still demands consumer responsibility. When you purchase a new car or RV you must understand the contract that you are expected to sign. In the case of a used vehicle, you should always understand if you are purchasing the vehicle “As-Is” or if it is covered under a warranty.
The contract should also show, in detail an itemized list of all costs excluding certain negotiable items that are not official fees. After reading the contract, remember that any promises made by the dealership must be in writing as verbal guarantees are not binding legal agreements.
Florida Lemon Law Links