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Often times, potential clients would call my office asking if the Texas Lemon Law applies to motorhomes or recreational vehicles. Under the Texas Lemon Law, the term “vehicle” includes: “Cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes and all terrain vehicles.” Travel trailers are also included, but must be titled and registered in Texas to be eligible.

In short, yes, motor-homes and recreational vehicles are protected under the Texas Lemon Law. Be caution that strict guidelines apply and it is important to contact a Texas Lemon Law attorney as soon as the consumer has encountered numerous repair attempts.

Also, keep in mind that written documentation of all repair work is absolutely essential to have a strong case against the dealer/manufacturer. Therefore, be organized and keep all paperwork handy and available when you contact an attorney who handles Texas lemon law related claims.

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Many clients call my law office asking about the 30 day Texas Lemon Law test. Little do they know that when the law was drafted, it was heavily lobbied by car manufacturers and dealers to work against many consumers. Here’s why:

Imagine a very narrow law that only applies to a very small percentage of people, if any. That’s the realistic outcome of the 30 day provision of the Texas Lemon Law. The 30 day test first requires that no loaner car was provided to the consumer during the period of repair. If you pass that requirement, then the law requires that your new vehicle be out of service for repair (this is where you want to make sure your repair invoices have the correct dates on it) for 30 or more days.

But hold on, the repair must be considered a “substantial” impairment, or it must “substantially” affect the market value of your new vehicle. Well, that’s easy, right?

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Lemon law litigation may be complex and there are many important things you should do to preserve a strong case against the car manufacturer. The first thing you should do is to obtain, gather, and compile all paperwork relating to your case.

Most car manufacturers will need to review your paperwork to assess your claim. Without paperwork, it will be your word against theirs. Some of my clients contest that the car dealership and service center should have the paperwork, since they issued the repair orders and invoices,…Right? The answer is yes, but getting them to relinquish a second copy of the paperwork if they know you are planning on opening a lemon law claim may be difficult.

After you have your paperwork in order, you may contact the vehicle manufacturer directly or contact attorney with experience handling lemon law cases. Having a lemon law attorney represent your cause may help you obtain a better settlement.

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The following link is from our’s testimonial page. It is a testimonial (positive review) of a client of ours. In the excerpt, there is a reference to “lemon law mills.” Most people are unfamiliar with the phrase, so I thought I would write a brief blog article about it.

A “lemon law mill” is a phrase that describes a law office that concentrates its practice specifically on lemon law cases in a factory-like, volume-based, automated manner. At first thought, this isn’t such a bad thing, since experience is helpful in handling lemon law cases.

The issue is when the law office focuses its attention on the number of cases settled in order to produce profit for the firm, rather than the quality of its legal

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It’s hard to believe that seven years ago, I started this blog to provide a forum to discuss information to the public about the Texas Lemon Law. As the years past, I was hoping the lemon law will adapt and change in a way that will help consumers for the better. Unfortunately, not much, in the Texas Lemon Law, has changed. Hopefully, the lemon law for the state of Texas will be more favorable in the next seven years.

A change to the Texas Lemon Law I would like to see happen in the near future include an attorney fee shifting provision that forces the manufacturer to pay for the consumer’s attorney fee. Currently, the Texas Lemon Law program provides consumers with a chance to participate in an arbitration/hearing, the attorney fee shifting provision only applies if the car manufacturer first hires an attorney to attend the hearing.

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Every state has different laws as it relates to lemon laws and defective new vehicles. Some states’ lemon law are more favorable to consumer than others. Unfortunately, in Texas, the lemon law has been heavily lobbied by care manufacturers and dealerships; and therefore, is not very favorable to consumers.

A sign that a state lemon law is helpful to consumers is if it contains an attorney fee shifting provision. An attorney fee shifting provision requires a manufacturer to pay for the consumer’s attorney fees, in the event the consumer wins the case. Often times, after buying a vehicle (the second largest purchase behind a house), most consumers do not have excessive funds to hire an attorney to seek recourse against car manufacturers.

The Texas lemon law has a “pseudo” attorney fee shifting provision. The provision is triggered during the arbitration and only if the car manufacturers hire an attorney. Unfortunately, car manufacturers abuse this provision and never obtains an attorney, instead, they bring car experts who have received legal training to the arbitration instead. Hence, the “pseudo” attorney fee shifting provision is rendered useless and if often never triggered.

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Often times, many Texas lemon law clients want to know how long a typical lemon law claim takes to adjudicate. The answer is that it varies. Sometimes, it can drag on longer than the consumer anticipates. Click here for a brief overview of the answer to this question.

There are many factors involved in determining how long a lemon law claim will take. Such factors include: (1) the facts of the case, (2) who the defendant car manufacturer is, (3) who the representing opposing counsel is, (4) the time of the year, and (5) how responsive the client/consumer is.

Next week, I will highlight the first factor involved in determining the time-frame of a typical lemon law case.

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Typically, a consumer contacts a Texas lemon law office and submits paperwork/documentation for a case evaluation regarding his/her vehicle. This case evaluation is usually free for the consumer. The submitted documentation is reviewed by an attorney, paralegal, or legal staff. Thereafter, the attorney or legal staff will discuss options (if any) and expectations with the consumer.

After the discussion with the Texas lemon law lawyer, the consumer may wish to retain the attorney for representation. The lawyer would then have the consumer review and sign a representation agreement.

A representation agreement is a contract between the consumer and the attorney. A good agreement usually outlines expectations, responsibilities, and fee arrangements. It is designed to protect both parties, in case a conflict or issue arises. Before signing a representation agreement, it is important for the consumer to read it carefully and ask questions on any terms that may be confusing or unclear.

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The statute of limitation is legalese (legal talk); it means that a plaintiff (the consumer) has a specific time-frame or deadline to file a lawsuit against a defendant. After the deadline, the consumer will lose his or her right(s) to file a lawsuit, even if the consumer has a legitimate claim/case.

The deadline to file a lawsuit is discussed in a previous blog entry found here. This post relates to when the limitation is triggered. In other words, what date does it begin to count and the clock starts ticking against the consumer.

Although not all cases are the same, under applicable federal and state Texas lemon laws, the statute of limitation usually begins on the date the vehicle was purchased. Typically, this is found on the date that is written on the purchase agreement, or sales contract. Hence, it is important to insist that the dealer writes or prints the correct date on the sales agreement.

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Question: I took my vehicle in for repairs once or twice, but feel that the the problem will reoccur soon. Do I have a case?

Answer: Generally, everyone potentially has a case. The real issue is whether the case is strong or not, whether there is likelihood for recovery in the form of any cash settlement, repurchase, or replacement,…or, not.

Under the current Texas Lemon Law, the presumption is either: 2 or more repair attempts for a serious safety issue, or 4 or more attempts for the same non-substantial defect, or the vehicle has been serviced for a cumulative of 30 days or more.