Has your vehicle turned out to be a lemon?
Also known as the Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, Florida’s Lemon Law was enacted to alleviate the tremendous hardship consumers face when their car, truck, or SUV is not repaired properly. Under the law, manufacturers must either repurchase or replace a vehicle that has not been repaired after the consumer has provided the manufacturer, through its dealers, with a reasonable opportunity to do so.
Typically, there are two situations that require prompt and corrective action from the manufacturer. If the consumer has either provided the manufacturer with 3 or more times to repair a recurring problem or the vehicle has been out of service for 15 or more days, the consumer may seek relief under the Florida Lemon Law. After either occurrence, the consumer must provide written notification to the manufacturer that gives them a final opportunity to make legitimate repairs.
Once the manufacturer receives the written notice, the manufacturer must promptly schedule the final repair. If the final repair does not correct the problem, then the consumer may seek relief under the law. To initiate this legal relief, the consumer must first resort to informal dispute resolution assuming the manufacturer has a state certified arbitration program in place to resolve such a claim. If no such program is in place, or informal dispute resolution is not successful, the consumer must then apply for arbitration through an Arbitration Board administered by the Florida Attorney General with locations throughout the State of Florida. Notably, claims for arbitration must be filed 2 years and 60 days after the vehicle was purchased or leased. Therefore, it is important that you act quickly to preserve your rights.
After filing a claim, an arbitration hearing is scheduled. A decision is rendered within 60 calendar days from the date your arbitration request was approved. If the decision is in your favor, the Board gives the manufacturer 40 days to either replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price at your option less a reasonable offset for your use of the vehicle. The choice is yours.
In addition to recovering the purchase price of the vehicle, you may also receive collateral and incidental expenses. These include finance interest charges, registration fees and sales tax. If you would prefer a replacement, the manufacturer is responsible for providing a replacement vehicle that is up to 105 percent of the initial vehicle’s suggested retail price.
Ready to receive a ruling in your favor? If you believe that the problems you are having with your vehicle qualify for relief under the Florida lemon law or under the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which provides consumers with a minimum of 5 years to seek relief for their claims, call Krohn & Moss Ltd. Consumer Law Center® at 800-USLEMON (800-875-3666) for a free consultation. Rather than going it alone and trying to get relief from a manufacturer who has unlimited resources, the best way to make sure the playing field is leveled is with an experienced lemon law attorney. Speak with someone from Krohn & Moss Ltd. Consumer Law Center® to see if your claim qualifies for relief under the Florida Lemon Law or the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.