FAQ - texas

Frequently Asked Questions About The Lemon Law

Man with mustache leaning on yellow car with speech bubbles near him.

What Are Lemon Laws?

Before lemon laws were put into place, consumers weren’t protected if a new or used car dealer sold them a car that didn’t operate as it should. These individuals were left to struggle to pay for the repairs or trade their vehicle in for a different one. Today, these lemon laws are designed to protect these consumers. If a vehicle qualifies as a lemon based on state or federal laws, the consumer is eligible for compensation from the manufacturer. These lemon laws dictate the number of attempts that must be completed to repair the vehicle, as well as the timeframe in which those repairs must take place. Contact our attorneys today to find out if your car qualifies.

How does Lemon Law work?

Generally, the Lemon Law requires manufacturers that fail to repair a warrantied vehicle after a “reasonable number of attempts” to accept the return of the vehicle for a refund or a replacement. In most cases, defects that persist after three or four repair attempts or thirty (30) days out of service qualify the vehicle as a lemon.

Consumers seeking compensation after purchasing a lemon often need to first make their case to a third-party arbitration board before making a legal claim. If the board fails to offer a decision or the decision does not satisfy the consumer, the consumer may then file a Lemon Law claim with the courts.

Because Lemon Laws differ from state to state, it’s important to retain a knowledgeable Lemon Law attorney who is familiar with all aspects of the law and its procedural requirements. For instance, some states require fewer than even three or four repair attempts before classifying a vehicle as a lemon. Many states provide longer time frames for the repairs attempts to take place. And some states allow you to file a legal claim without seeking arbitration.

Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® has helped tens of thousands of consumers bring their claims to arbitration boards. We can help you through the entire process and make sure your claim is properly presented for arbitration.

Select your state from the drop-down menu at the top of this page to learn more about its specific guidelines. Or visit our general state Lemon Law page and select your state there.

Can I get my money back after buying a defective automobile?

Yes, in many instances you can. Alternatively, you may qualify for other forms of relief, such as monetary damages or a replacement vehicle. Contact us to find out what kind of compensation you may be entitled to under state and/or federal law.

My car has problems. Can I get the dealer to replace it without hiring an attorney?

You would think so, but sadly the answer to this question in far too many cases, is no. Attempting to resolve a lemon law dispute over the phone or even in-person on your own, can be next to impossible. Mere mention of words like vehicle replacement, refund, lawsuit, attorney and Lemon Law, usually ends up with you making countless calls back and forth, and leaving just as many unanswered messages. Remarkably, one of the most common strategies for those being accused of selling a bad vehicle, is to give the buyer the impression that they’re actually looking into it, with no intentions of ever doing so. Ultimately the goal is to wear you out mentally and emotionally, in the hopes that you scrap or sell the vehicle as-is. One of the reasons to work with a qualified Lemon Law attorney, is that in many cases, agreements are often signed in haste without reading the fine print of the refund agreement. Often times, what is said in a meeting and what is actually contained on paper are two completely different things. At Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® we make sure that you actually receive what has been promised as a result of your settlement. And since we seek our attorneys’ fees from the manufacturer, it only makes sense to let us represent you.

What if my vehicle repair record shows no problems?

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealer, there’s a trail of paperwork and documentation that you never see and, in many cases, have no idea it even exists. This includes everything from customer copies and warranty payment documents, to dealership bookkeeping and hard copies. The hard copy, for example, contains the original notes made by the mechanic who inspected and/or signed off on your vehicle. In some instances, you will find the phrase Could Not Duplicate Customer Concern stamped on the customer copy, while the hard copy often contains notes made by the mechanic, which clearly states the opposite. Not only does this leave your vehicle in need of repairs, it also sends you back out on the road with a potentially dangerous vehicle. By carefully sourcing and investigating all existing paperwork, our attorneys can detect whether or not any vehicle problems were noted upon acceptance.

Will I need to pay a legal retainer for my Lemon Law case?

No. At Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®, we’re adamant that no consumer should ever be expected to pay a retainer fee when attempting to resolve a Lemon Law dispute. In fact, fee-shifting provisions in both state and federal laws allow us to represent most clients without ever charging them for our services. Instead, we bill the manufacturer for our fees and expenses, which state and federal laws say are recoverable if you prevail in a court of law.

Other firms may charge retainer fees because they lack confidence in your case or their own abilities. But with more than 25 years of experience and over 45,000 cases under our belt, it goes without saying that we are vastly experienced and highly successful when it comes to fighting for consumer rights under the Lemon Law. As a result, we will never ask a consumer to pay a retainer fee!

What rights do I have against automobile manufacturers and dealers who knowingly sell bad vehicles?

Most consumers are surprised to learn that the Lemon Law is a real thing, and not just a myth born from an old cliché. The simple fact is that the minute your vehicle purchase is complete, you are protected by a wide spectrum of rights; each one designed specifically to prevent the deliberate sale of faulty vehicles. The specific definition of these rights varies on a state-by-state basis and is broad in the scope of the protection they provide. Additionally, federal Breach of Warranty laws provide further protection for you if you don’t qualify for Lemon law protection. At Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® our attorneys will work closely with you to determine which specific rights apply to your case and will advise you of such.

What will my responsibilities be during the investigation and legal process?

With the help of an experienced attorney, the process of filing a Lemon Law claim is surprisingly easy. All we need from you are the documents to support your claim, namely:

  • The vehicle’s repair history or service log

  • All sales documentation in your possession

  • Any warranty or extended coverage paperwork issued if available

How do I find out if my situation qualifies for a Lemon Law case?

As one of the country’s largest and most experienced Lemon Law firms, Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® makes it easy to determine whether or not you have a case against an automobile dealer or manufacturer. Within 60 seconds, our FREE Case Evaluator can tell you if your situation meets the criteria we believe is necessary to pursue a claim. Alternatively, you can contact us for a FREE case review from one of our experienced lemon law attorneys.

What happens after I contact the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®?

First, we will review your case, free of charge. To do so, we’ll ask you to provide the repair records for your vehicle. After reviewing the paperwork, we’ll offer our professional opinion as to whether or not you have a case and what the next steps will be. We’ll also explain how we’ll use federal and/or state lemon laws to bill the car company for our time instead of you.

From there, the pace of your case will depend on a number of variables. But all we need from you is the paperwork from when you purchased the vehicle and any service records in your possession. We’ll handle the rest, which typically involves trying to settle the matter directly with the manufacturer before filing a Lemon Law claim with the courts. Even if a claim needs to be filed with the courts, over 99 percent of our cases settle without the need to ever go to a trial.

What Is Considered a Lemon?

For a vehicle to be considered a lemon, it must meet certain requirements. While each state is different, there are some general things that hold true across the board. First of all, the vehicle needs to have some type of defect or non-conformity. Under most state laws, the defect must have taken place within a specific period of time or a certain number of miles after the vehicle was purchased or leased. Additionally, most state lemon laws require that the defect or non-conformity could not be fixed after several repair attempts. While state lemon laws for cars usually only apply to new, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, also known as the federal Lemon Law, applies to all cars covered by a warranty, whether the car is new or used. It is important that you speak to an experienced lemon law attorney who may assess your rights.

What are types of defects that are covered by lemon laws?

Most state lemon laws require that for the car owner or lessee to recover, they must prove that the defect or non-conformity substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle. Every situation is unique and a defect that you might not ordinarily think is substantial, very well might be depending on how it affects you. For instance, even something that is seemingly as minor as the illumination of a light on your dash board might signify a larger problem. Or, something like a brake squeak might be substantial if it affects your use and enjoyment of the vehicle every time you get behind the wheel. It is for this reason that you should speak to an experienced lemon law attorney who may assess your rights and tell you their opinion on what you may recover. Keep in mind, that the federal Lemon Law has no requirement that the defects in the vehicle be substantial. Rather, the federal Act looks to the obligations of the manufacturer to repair your vehicle as detailed in your warranty. Notably, the typical car manufacturer’s warranty promises to repair all defects in materials and workmanship in the vehicle. It does not restrictcoverage to only “substantial” defects. Therefore, even minor defects are covered under the federal Act if the manufacturer,by and through its dealers, was unable to repair the vehicle after being afforded a reasonable opportunity to do so.

What is a reasonable number of repair attempts to repair my car?

Before a vehicle can be deemed a lemon, you must give the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to resolve the issue. Although every state’s laws vary, most provide manufacturers with at least 3 chances to do so. In some states, a single repair attempt may be sufficient to deem a car a lemon if the defect affects the safety of the vehicle.

Most states also qualify vehicles as lemons if any number of repair attempts keep the vehicle out of service for a total of 30 days. However, those 30 days out of service must take place within a set time period, often the first 12, 18, or 24 months after the original purchase date. To find out how your state defines a “reasonable number of repair attempts,” visit the specific state page on our site.

How We Can Help Your Lemon Law Situation?

Filing a Lemon Law claim can be confusing if you’ve never done so. The attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® have worked in this area of law since 1995 and have handled more than 45,000 cases. This experience allows us to quickly assess your case and counsel you on the best course of action for moving forward.

If you qualify for relief, we will do our best to ensure that you settle your claims for what the law entitles, namely a refund, a replacement vehicle, or monetary compensation. Our goal is to hold manufacturers responsible for every single lemon they sell.

But all too often consumers simply accept their lemon, often because they aren’t aware of their rights or fear that defending them would cost too much. That’s why we never charge you a fee unless we win your case or secure a settlement. And when we do succeed, most lemon laws require the manufacturer to pay our fees.

What is the Lemon Law?

Lemon laws provide recourse to consumers who’ve purchased a defective product. Typically, they allow consumers to return defective products for a refund or a replacement. Most states have their own lemon laws that apply specifically to motor vehicles. The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act supplements state laws by providing additional protection for vehicles as well as other consumer products.

Who Qualifies Under State of Texas Lemon Law?

A consumer who has purchased or leased a new motor vehicle that later experiences a defect or condition that substantially impairs the motor vehicle’s use, market value or safety, may be eligible for relief under the Texas Lemon Law the consumer must first give the automobile manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect before they are eligible for lemon law relief. Generally, a “reasonable opportunity to repair” is considered at least 4 repair attempts by the manufacturer within the first 2 years/24,000 miles of the vehicle’s life, whichever occurs first. However, where the Lemon Law leaves off, federal law provides additional protection to consumers after the vehicle’s first 2 years or 24,000 miles.

How long do I have to file a claim under the Texas Lemon Laws?

Generally, the automobile owner must file a claim with the Texas Department of Transportation within 24 months from the automobile’s date of purchase or within 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Once again, federal law supplements the protections of the Texas Lemon Law and provides consumers with at least 4 years to pursue a claim.

How do I file a lemon law claim in Texas?

The attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to file a claim to make sure that you meet all of the regulatory requirements for doing so. We can assist you to fill out a Lemon Law complaint form with the Texas DMV and provide notice of the complaint to the automobile manufacturer to give them a last opportunity to repair defect. The complaint is then reviewed by the assigned Texas DMV staff case advisor for completeness and eligibility and an attempt to resolve the complaint through mediation between the parties will be made. If the claims cannot be resolved through mediation, the matter will be referred for a hearing before an assigned hearing examiner in which both parties will be able to present their case. The hearing examiner will issue a final written decision to the parties on the matter within 60 days after the close of the hearing. If either party is dissatisfied by the decision of the examiner, they may challenge the final order by filing a motion for rehearing with the Texas DMV. If still dissatisfied, the aggrieved party may file an appeal with a state district or appeals court in Travis County, Texas. The experienced attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you through this process.

Is there a Lemon Law in Texas for a used car & new cars?

The Texas Lemon law typically only applies to new vehicles. However, consumers in Texas may use the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to provide them with relief for the purchase of any used car, truck, SUV or other consumer product. The federal Act supplements the protections of the Texas Lemon Law to allow purchasers and lessees of any consumer product, whether new or used, to seek relief if the product turns out to be defective and cannot be repaired despite the consumer affording the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to do so.

How long do I have to return a car under the Texas Lemon Law?

An automobile owner cannot return the car until he/she has been awarded a replacement/repurchase of the automobile by the Texas Department of Transportation.

How does my lawyer get paid?

The attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. will only charge a fee if they win your case. While the Texas Department of Transportation generally does not award attorneys’ fees when rendering a decision, if the hearing examiner does not find in favor of the consumer, the consumer may file an appeal in a district or appeals court and attorneys’ fees may be awarded by the Court. However, if you hire Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® and you do not prevail, we will not charge you for our time representing you. In other words, we will only get paid if you get a recovery!

What documents are necessary to prove that my vehicle is a lemon?

Your repair receipts are your best evidence. Be sure to always request a copy of any repair receipts when you tender your vehicle for repair. Whether you pay for the repair or not, you are entitled to a repair order receipt. While these documents are all that we need to prove your claim, we may also request that you provide us with a copy of your purchase documents and registration.

What if my case isn’t covered by the Texas Lemon Law, do I have any other recourse?

Yes, consumers in Texas may also use the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to provide them with relief for the purchase of any car, truck, SUV or other consumer product. The federal Act supplements the protections of the Texas Lemon Law to allow purchasers and lessees of any consumer product, whether new or used, to seek relief if the product turns out to be defective and cannot be repaired despite the consumer affording the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to do so. Therefore, if you have a car, truck, SUV, or other consumer product that proves to be defective, contact Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® toll free at 866-543-5924 or by completing a free case review

Does the Lemon Law in Texas Apply to Used Cars?

The Texas Lemon Law typically only applies to new vehicles. However, if you purchased a used vehicle that was still covered by the original warranty it may still be covered. Plus, there are a number of other laws that offer similar protection. If your used car is a lemon, contact us today so that we can review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

What Will My Responsibilities Be During the Investigation and Legal Process?

We make the process of filing a claim under the Lemon Law surprisingly easy. All you need to do is provide us with:

  • The vehicle’s repair history or service log
  • All sales documentation
  • Any warranty or extended coverage paperwork

How Do I File a Lemon Law Claim in Texas?

Contacting the Texas Lemon Law attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® is the easiest way to file a Lemon Law claim in Texas. Typically, you’d need to file a complaint with the Texas DMV, participate in a mediation process and then one, potentially two, hearings. But we can handle almost all of that tediousness for you.

Does Lemon Law apply to used cars?

YES. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, also known as the federal Lemon Law, applies to used cars that were sold with some type of warranty or service contract, i.e., it applies to vehicles that were not sold as-is. Some state lemon laws also apply to used cars.

Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, you may bring a claim if the car manufacturer fails to repair any defect in your vehicle after giving them a reasonable opportunity to do so. You may also bring a claim if the quality of your vehicle falls short of what you would expect from another one like it.

The Act entitles lemon owners to bring claims for monetary damages as compensation for the problems they’ve experienced. It also holds manufacturers responsible for any legal fees consumers accrue in making a federal Lemon Law claim. As a result, we can represent you at no direct cost if you’ve purchased or leased either a new or used lemon. Instead, we will seek our legal fees from the automobile manufacturer.

Finally, the federal Act allows consumers to bring claims for up to four years from the date on which the manufacturer failed to honor its obligations to repair. In some circumstances, consumers can bring claims as long as four years after the expiration of their warranty.

What is a Lemon Law buyback?

If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, the manufacturer will often be required to return the vehicle and issue a refund. This is known as a Lemon Law buyback. The refund typically amounts to the full purchase price, with all taxes, fees, and financing charges, minus a usage fee.

The applicable state Lemon Law should define the maximum manufacturers can withhold as a usage fee. Many state lemon laws calculate the maximum usage fee based on the purchase price of the vehicle and the mileage driven before the first repair attempt. But every state is different. Thus, contacting a knowledgeable and experienced Lemon Law attorney is the most effective way to protect your rights.

What is a ‘lemon’?

For a vehicle to be considered a lemon, it must meet certain requirements. While each state is different, there are some general things that hold true across the board. At the most basic level, the vehicle needs to have some type of defect or non-conformity. And under most state laws, the defect must be covered by a warranty and be reported to the manufacturer within a specific timeframe and mileage limit.

However, the defect alone does not classify your vehicle as a lemon. Usually, the manufacturer must try and fail to repair the defect multiple times before the vehicle earns that distinction.

What types of defects are covered by lemon laws?

Most state lemon laws cover vehicles with a defect or non-conformity that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. Every situation is unique and a defect that you might not ordinarily think is substantial, might very well be depending on how it affects you.

For instance, even something that is seemingly as minor as the illumination of a light on your dashboard might signify a larger problem. Or, something like a brake squeak might be substantial if it affects your use and enjoyment of the vehicle. And the federal Lemon Law applies to all warrantied defects, regardless of their effect on the vehicle.

Do You Have A Lemon?

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