When you purchase or lease a new vehicle, you expect it to run perfectly, from the new-car smell down to the features and functions of the vehicle. Unfortunately, for many purchasers, this is simply not the case. If you have purchased or leased a car which had serious problems lurking under the “shine,” chances are that you are the unlucky owner of a lemon. But there is hope! The Texas Lemon Law, as well as federal law, protects those who purchase or lease lemons, and requires the manufacturer to make things right. An experienced Texas Lemon Law lawyer at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to take advantage of these laws and get your money back, or get the new vehicle you bargained for.
The Texas Lemon Law applies to cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes and all-terrain vehicles, as well as demonstrator vehicles and even some boats! Travel trailers are also covered if they are titled and registered in the great state of Texas.
Even your used car may be covered under the Texas Lemon Law under some circumstances. Used cars which are still covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty are generally protected by the Texas Lemon Law, as well as used cars under expired warranties when the problems with the car were reported within the warranty period. An experienced Texas Lemon Law attorney can help you to determine whether your new or used vehicle is protected.
As a general matter, the Texas Lemon Law provides protection against defects that make your vehicle unsafe, substantially lower its value, or seriously affect your ability to use it. However, even if the problems with your car do not qualify under the Texas Lemon Law, you may still be entitled to relief under the Federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act). Under federal law, the manufacturer is required to meet all of the promises made in the warranty they gave you. Thus, even problems and defects which might be too “little” to qualify for protection under the Texas Lemon Law, such as problems with the radio or the trim, may give you rights under the federal law. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable Texas Lemon Law lawyer, who can help you determine whether you qualify for relief under the Texas Lemon Law, the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, or both.
Reasonable Number of Attempts to Repair Covered Defects
Before you are entitled to relief under the Texas Lemon Law, you must first give the manufacturer a chance to make a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle. Once you have done so, you are entitled to full relief under the law. There are three ways to show that the manufacturer was given a “reasonable” chance to correct the problem. Most simply, if the manufacturer was given four opportunities to fix the problem, and failed to do so, then you are entitled to relief. Second, if the problems with the vehicle create a “serious safety hazard,” and the manufacturer has been given two chances to fix the problem and failed, then you are entitled to relief. A serious safety hazard is a life-threatening malfunction that leaves you substantially unable to control or operate the vehicle, or that creates a substantial risk of fire or explosion. Finally, if your vehicle has been out-of-service for at least 30 days due to the defects or problems, then you are generally entitled to relief.
Technical Requirements for Obtaining Relief
Under the Texas Lemon Law, lemon victims are required to meet a number of technical bureaucratic requirements in order to obtain relief. These include submitting a complaint to the Texas DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) using the correct forms, evaluation by a DMV case advisor, a hearing before a DMV hearing examiner, and the proper challenge to the examiner’s ruling if you are dissatisfied. These technical requirements are specific, and strictly enforced. That is one reason why it is essential to consult with an experienced Texas Lemon Law lawyer. The Texas Lemon Law attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to comply with these requirements so that you can obtain the relief you deserve!
Enforcing your legal rights
If you qualify for relief under the Texas Lemon Law or the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, you are entitled to receive a refund (with return of the lemon) or a comparable replacement vehicle. The manufacturer must also often return to you financing fees, titling and registration fees, interest payments, and other charges you incurred. In some cases, they will also be required to pay you for your incidental expenses connected with the problems, such as towing fees, costs of replacement transportation while the vehicle was out-of-service, and even a hotel room if your vehicle breaks down out of town!
If you need to take action under the Texas Lemon Law or under the Federal Lemon Law, it is essential to hire a lawyer with experience in exactly these types of claims. You can be certain that the manufacturer who gave you your lemon will have experienced attorneys on its side, and you need an attorney who is just as experienced protecting your rights.
The good news is that when you win your Texas Lemon Law claim, the court requires the manufacturer to pay your attorneys’ fees. Thus, even if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you can have an experienced attorney fighting for you on the manufacturer’s dime. The lawyers at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® only get paid if you recover from the manufacturer. Contact the experienced attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® for a free case evaluation and get them fighting for you!