Lemon Laws in Texas
The original federal lemon law is known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The act was passed in 1975 to help individual consumers understand the warranties that they were purchasing and to force companies to honor those warranties through a process defined under the act.
Under the law companies are responsible for providing, in plain English, the terms of warranties and their disclaimers. This helps the individual consumer by allowing them to compare warranties among similar products and it also encourages competition among the sellers and manufacturers to produce a warranty that provides value to the consumer.
When a new automobile is purchased and a problem arises, that problem must be repaired under the conditions set fourth in the warranty. The repairs must be made in a reasonable time frame and at no expense to the customer. In addition, if the vehicle is brought in for the same problem a number of times, and the problem is not resolved after a reasonable number of repair attempts, then the dealer must either refund the consumer the purchase price of the vehicle or replace the car at no cost.
The Texas Lemon Law
The Texas lemon law covers new car purchases and leased vehicles that were purchased from dealers that are licensed in the State of Texas. The Texas lemon law can help the consumer that is having problems getting their vehicle repaired after a number of attempts. The law covers new automobiles and demonstrators that have problems that are covered under the written warranty of the vehicle manufacturer. In order to move forward with a lemon law claim, the consumer must show that the following conditions exist:
1. The automobile has a severe defect or abnormal problem.
2. The problem is covered by the warranty purchased.
3. The vehicle problem is reported to the manufacturer or the seller while it is under warranty.
4. The customer has given the dealer a number of opportunities to repair the vehicle.
5. The manufacturer has received written notice from the customer of the defect and the customer has also notified them of at least one opportunity to repair the vehicle.
6. The problem with the vehicle poses a safety risk, impairs the use of the vehicle or impacts the market value of the automobile.
7. The customer pays the filing fee and files the lemon law complaint.
8. The automobile was purchased from a Texas dealer of Lease Company.
9. In the case of TRVs, the vehicle maintains a Texas title and registration.
This lemon law complaint must be filed within the following time frame in order of whatever occurs first:
1. 24,000 miles from the date of delivery (Except TRVs).
2. Within 24 months of purchase
3. Within Warranty expiration.
Filing a Lemon Law Complaint in Texas
If you own a vehicle that qualifies under the State of Texas lemon law, you must follow the proper procedures to file a lemon law complaint. At the bottom of this article you are be provided with State of Texas website links to start the process. Prior to filing a complaint please read the following:
1. You must notify the manufacturer through certified mail, giving them the chance to repair the vehicle.
2. Be sure and keep a copy of the repair orders documenting your attempts to have the vehicle repaired.
3. Ask the Texas Motor Vehicle Division for the “Lemon Law Handbook” this should include the repair log and a complaint form. (Links provided at the bottom of this article)
4. Pull the documentation together including repair orders or any records regarding the repair of the vehicle.
5. File the written complaint with the Motor Vehicle Division and pay the $35 fee. You will then receive a video regarding the Texas Lemon Law.
Texas Lemon Law Links