It is estimated that more than 150,000 cars annually, or about one percent of all new cars, are cons...read more
It is estimated that more than 150,000 cars annually, or about one percent of all new cars, are considered lemons. Although state and federal lemon laws vary, a lemon is generally considered any vehicle that has repeated defects or non-conformities that cannot be repaired after a reasonable time or a reasonable number of attempts. If you want to take advantage of state and federal lemon laws for car purchases, it’s important to understand what qualifies as a lemon and what steps you need to take to put yourself in the best position to receive maximum possible relief under the law. The attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® have worked in this area of law since 1995 and can help you assess your claims and counsel you on the best course of action for moving forward. Should you qualify for relief, we will do our best to ensure that you settle your claims for what the law entitles, which may be a refund for your car, a replacement vehicle, or monetary compensation in other instances. We will also not charge you a fee unless you win or settle your case.
Before being able to reap the benefits of the lemon law, you must allow the manufacturer or dealer t...read more
Before being able to reap the benefits of the lemon law, you must allow the manufacturer or dealer to make a reasonable number of attempts or you must provide them with a reasonable time to fix the issues before your vehicle may be considered a lemon. Although every state law varies, most states require that the consumer provide the manufacturer or its dealers with at least3 times or 30 days to fix a vehicle defect or non-conformity. In some states, as little as 1 repair attempt may be sufficient to deem a car a lemon if the defect is something that affects the safety of the vehicle.
Most state lemon laws require that for the car owner or lessee to recover, they must prove that the ...read more
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.
A new car is one of the biggest, most exciting purchases you can make. Nothing quite compares to that sense of joy and pride you feel when you drive a shiny new car off the lot after months of deciding what to purchase and then carefully planning and saving. But what happens when you discover that the only good features of your new car are the shiny finish and the new-car smell? As things continue to go wrong, eventually you are forced to face the unpleasant truth: you purchased a “lemon.”
Fortunately, Hawaii consumers are not stuck with the “lemon” they received from the dealership. The Hawaii Lemon Law, together with the Federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act), provide important protection for vehicle owners who did not receive all they bargained for.
The Hawaii Lemon Law provides protection for Hawaii residents who purchase motor vehicles under warranty which are designed for road use, and intended primarily (although not necessarily exclusively) for personal, family or household use. Unlike some state laws, the Hawaii Lemon Law also extends to motorcycles. However, the Hawaii Lemon Law does not cover mopeds, motor scooters or large vehicles which weigh over 10,000 pounds.
Even vehicles not covered by the Hawaii Lemon Law may still be protected. The federal Lemon Law is not limited to certain vehicle types – or even to vehicles! The federal Lemon Law covers all consumer products sold under warranty, including all types of consumer motor vehicles, personal and household electronics, home appliances and more.
To qualify for protection under the Hawaii Lemon Law, the defect or problem with the car must substantially impair the use, safety, or market value of the car. This means that because of the defect or problems, the vehicle is unreliable, unsafe for normal use, unfit, or worth significantly less money.
In addition, the Hawaii Lemon Law provides protection for a set period of time. The law extends for two (2) years from the date of purchase or for twenty-four thousand (24,000) miles, whichever comes first. Once one of these milestones has passed, the Hawaii Lemon Law no longer applies. However, the federal Lemon Law extends the time to qualify for protection to the entire period of the warranty issued by the manufacturer. Thus, even if the Hawaii Lemon Law deadline has passed, you still may be able to obtain relief under the federal Lemon Law.
Under the Hawaii Lemon Law, the manufacturer is entitled to a “reasonable number of attempts” to make repairs to the vehicle. The Hawaii Lemon Law presumes that a manufacturer has had a reasonable opportunity to repair the automobile if it has tried, and failed, to fix the same problem three (3) or more times; if it has examined or tried and failed once to fix a problem that is likely to cause serious injury or death; or if the vehicle has been out of service for repairs – for any/all problems – a total of thirty (30) business days or more (which need not be all in a row).
After the manufacturer has been provided “a reasonable number of attempts to repair the car,” the consumer must give the manufacturer formal written notice that the vehicle is a “lemon” and one final opportunity to attempt to repair it. In addition, if the manufacturer has certified with the state an arbitration or mediation program for lemon law claims, the consumer who purchased the “lemon” must participate in that program before filing a lawsuit. If you purchased a lemon, an experienced Hawaii Lemon Law attorney at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you to navigate these requirements properly and efficiently, to help you get the relief you deserve as quickly as possible.
Once you have met all the requirements of the Hawaii Lemon Law, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle. If the manufacturer repurchases the car and refunds the purchase price, it must return all amounts paid, including the net allowance given for any trade-in vehicle, charges for undercoating, dealer preparation and transportation, dealer-installed options, finance and interest charges, taxes, license and registration fees and title fees. You may also be entitled to any incidental fees you were forced to pay as a result of the problems, including things like towing bills, amounts you paid for other transportation while your car was unavailable, loss of income from missing work and compensation for any injuries you suffered. The manufacturer may then subtract a reasonable amount (as defined by a specific formula in the Hawaii Lemon Law) for your use of the vehicle while you owned it. An experienced Hawaii Lemon Law lawyer at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you determine the exact amount to which you are entitled.
If the manufacturer provides you with a replacement vehicle, it must be identical or reasonably equivalent to the car you bought. This means that it must have the same service contract and options, including “extras” such as undercoating or rustproofing. The manufacturer must also pay all taxes, registration fees, and other charges associated with the replacement vehicle.
Enforcing your legal rights
Call Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® or submit your information to us online to see if you qualify under the state or federal lemon law. You may be entitled to a refund, a replacement vehicle or cash compensation for your “lemon.” We have handled thousands of claims for both lemon automobiles and consumer products and over 97% of our cases settle without going to trial. We work hard to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.
We work with Hawaii attorneys associated with Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® in of-counsel relationships to handle lemon law claims for consumers in Hawaii. We stay informed of the newest legal developments so you can get the best results for your lemon law claim.
Watch this short video to learn how auto manufactures can compensate you for your Lemon.
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