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.
Mississippi’s Lemon Law was enacted to protect the purchasers of motor vehicles and to supplement those existing protections afforded by federal lemon laws. While some limitations may apply, the Mississippi legislature sought to provide the purchasers of motor vehicles with a tailored remedy should the manufacturer, by and through its dealers, fail to repair a defect or nonconformity in a vehicle after being afforded a reasonable number of attempts to do so. Specifically, should this situation occur, the consumer may seek at their option a refund for their purchase or a replacement vehicle. Additionally, the law makes clear that if a consumer prevails that a court may award the consumer their attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing their claim.
A consumer is only required to provide the manufacturer with a "reasonable number of attempts" to repair the motor vehicle at issue. Under Mississippi law, this means that if the vehicle has either not been repaired after three (3) repair attempts, or the vehicle has been out of service for fifteen (15) cumulative days, the vehicle is presumptively designated as a lemon.If you are uncertain if you meet this criterion, contact a Mississippi Lemon Law attorney who may evaluate your claims and advise you of your rights under the law.
While an automobile manufacturer is contractually obligated to repair all defects and nonconformities that arise during the duration of the warranty accompanying your vehicle, an automobile manufacturer is only liable under the Mississippi Lemon Law if the nonconformities impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. However, the simple fact that a vehicle has been out of service for multiple days or has not provided you with reliable transportation is the type of evidence that suggests the nonconformity impairs the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. Moreover, any trade valuation guide, such as the Kelley Blue Book, makes clear that a vehicle with defects has substantially less value than one without defects. Therefore, proving that the defects and nonconformities in your vehicle impair its use, value, or safety is often not very difficult. A Lemon Law attorney will be able to assess your case and advise you as to whether the defects and nonconformities in your vehicle qualify for relief under Mississippi law. However, even if your vehicle does not qualify for relief, an experienced attorney will also be able to advise you if the defects and nonconformities qualify for relief under the less stringent federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act , which does not require that the defects impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.
Your repair receipts are your most compelling evidence. It is, therefore, important that consumers maintain documentation of every repair visit so the records may be provided to a Mississippi Lemon Law attorney for review. If you do not have your receipts or the dealer refused to give them to you, take good notes of every visit to the dealer so you may advise an attorney as to what occurred. While the records definitely make it easier to assess your claims, an experienced lawyer should be able to assess your case with or without written records. It is also good to have copies of your purchase documents and all warranty information. Although these records may come in handy when assessing your case, a lemon law attorney may request further information from the dealers or manufacturer necessary to prove your case.
Time Frame to Pursue a Claim
If you do not get help from the dealer or manufacturer, you will want to file a claim as soon as possible. The law in Mississippi provides that you must file a claim within eighteen (18) months after your vehicle has been delivered to you. If you are outside of this time period, do not be discouraged. In Broome v. General Motors, LLC, a recent case handled by the attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® before the Mississippi Supreme Court, the court made clear that a consumer has six (6) years to pursue a claim for breach of warranty in the State of Mississippi. Accordingly, if the defects and nonconformities in your vehicle arose after eighteen (18) months and the manufacturer still failed to repair them, the manufacturer may have breached your warranty, i.e., broken its promise to repair. Nevertheless, it is important that you act quickly to make sure that you meet all possible deadlines and put yourself in the best position possible to receive the maximum compensation under the law. Whatever you do, don’t wait to ask for redress under the Mississippi Lemon Law.
Watch this short video to learn how auto manufacturers can compensate you for your Lemon.
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