How much time do I have to pursue a Lemon Law case in the State of Florida and how do I start a claim?

The “term of protection” for the Florida Lemon Law is two (2) years from the date of the purchase or lease of a new motor vehicle. It is this time period that determines whether or not you have provided the manufacturer with a reasonable opportunity to repair your vehicle. Thereafter, Florida law provides you with an additional sixty (60) days to make a demand for arbitration with either the manufacturer’s informal dispute resolution mechanism or through the Florida Attorney General’s office. More specifically, the Florida Attorney General’s Office has a list of every car manufacturer who has adopted an informal dispute resolution program that has been certified by the State of Florida. If your manufacturer has a certified program, you must first go through the certified program to try and resolve your case. This process should take no more than 40 days pursuant to federal and state law and it can be done in writing in most instances. Further, this “informal” program is only binding on the manufacturer. Therefore, if you are unsatisfied with the results of this program or the manufacturer has no certified program in place, you may then apply for arbitration with the Florida Attorney General. This type of arbitration program would require you to submit your case to a panel of three (3) impartial arbitrators who will listen to your dispute and determine if you are entitled to relief. While either party may appeal the decision of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, typically automobile manufacturers do not appeal if they lose at the arbitration level. If an appeal is filed, it is then filed in a county court, usually where you reside, and must be done so within thirty (30) days after the decision has been served on you.

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