The Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, commonly known as the Virginia Lemon Law, protects Virginia resident who purchase or lease new vehicles which do not live up to the manufacturer’s warranty. Specifically, the Virginia Lemon Law relates to cars and trucks that develop significant, recurring problems after the consumer signs on the dotted line. The Virginia Lemon Law, in combination with federal law, protects Virginia consumers who “get a lemon,” and works to force manufacturers to honor their obligations and provide customers with the new, working cars they thought they were buying or leasing in the first place!
Virginia Lemon Law Info:
Covered Vehicles Under the Virginia Lemon Law
Virginia consumers are protected when they buy or lease passenger vehicles which carry no more than ten (10) people (including the driver), as well as pickups and panel trucks which weigh 7,500 pounds or less. The Virginia Lemon Law also extends its coverage to motorcycles, mopeds, and even the motorized (self-propelled) chassis of motor homes regardless of whether all of these vehicles were purchased or leased.
Vehicles other than those aforementioned are often also protected. The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, also known as the Federal Lemon Law, covers all types of consumer vehicles, as well as other consumer products such as appliances, electronics, and household goods.
What Defects Are Covered?
The Virginia Lemon Law protects against “nonconformities,” defined as problems or defects in the vehicle which are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and which significantly impair the market value, safety, or use of the vehicle. To qualify as a significant impairment, the problem must make the car unfit, unsafe, or unreliable for its ordinary, reasonable use. However, the Federal Lemon Law extends further and protects against all defects and problems covered by the warranty, regardless of the significance or insignificance of the impairment.
Seeking Relief Under The Virginia Lemon Law
Before seeking relief under the Virginia Lemon Law, you must first give the manufacturer a reasonable chance to repair the problems. This means that, for most problems, the manufacturer may make three (3) attempts to fix the problem. If, however, the problem is a serious safety issue (meaning it is life-threatening, could cause serious injury or could cause an explosion or fire), then the manufacturer has only one (1) chance to fix the problem. In addition, regardless of the type of covered defect, if the car is out of service for thirty (30) days or more in a single year (even if those days do not occur all at once), then the Virginia Lemon Law recognizes the fact that the manufacturer has been given a reasonable opportunity to make repairs.
What are the Manufacturer’s Responsibilities?
Under both the Virginia Lemon Law and the Federal Lemon Law, if an automobile manufacturer fails to repair the problem after a “reasonable number of attempts,” then the buyer can seek legal relief. The manufacturer must provide the buyer with a replacement vehicle or a full refund. Virginia consumers do not have to accept a replacement vehicle offered by the manufacturer; they have the absolute right to demand a refund instead. The manufacturer also must pay the buyer’s attorneys’ fees (fees incurred enforcing the buyer’s rights under the Virginia Lemon Law or the Federal Lemon Law), as well as various other fees and charges. This includes finance charges, registration and titling fees, taxes, and other expenses.
How Do I Get Relief?
To obtain relief under the Virginia Lemon Law, you must file a claim within eighteen (18) months from the date on which you received the vehicle. However, under the Federal Lemon Law, you are protected for the entire length of the warranty.
Qualify Under The Virginal Lemon Law
Call Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® or submit your information to us online to see if you qualify under either Virginia or Federal lemon law. You could be entitled to a refund, a replacement vehicle or cash compensation for your “lemon.” Over 97% of our cases settle without going to trial and we work to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.
Virginia Attorneys Associated With Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®
We work with Virginia lemon law attorneys associated with Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® in an “of-counsel” relationship to handle lemon law claims for consumers in Virginia. We stay informed of the newest legal developments so you can get the best results for your lemon law claim. The experienced lemon law lawyers at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help get the relief you deserve.