Posted On: July 29, 2009

TXDOT issues its annual Texas Lemon Law Consumer Report

In Texas, the administrative body responsible for adjudicating lemon law claims is the Texas Department of Transportation. In other words, if you choose to file a complaint regarding your new lemon vehicle on your own (the law only pays for your attorney fees if the car manufacturer first hires an attorney and notifies you before the hearing), then do expect TXDOT to stand in between you and the car manufacturer to mediate your concerns.

As part of its Lemon Law program, TXDOT provides an annual lemon law consumer report. The report is 64 pages long and provides graphical charts and statistical information about the ongoing issues and number of complaints that occurred. Keep in mind these numbers do not include complaints that: (1) never gets filed with TXDOT, (2) gets filed with other quasi lemon law programs such as the Better Business Bureau AutoLine or the NCDS program, and (3) bypasses the administrative hearing and proceeds straight to court.

In the next few weeks, I will review the report and blog about my thoughts about the information in this report. If you would like to view the report on your own, then go here.

Posted On: July 10, 2009

How to find Non-lemon law attorneys

Often times at my lemon law practice, I get calls from potential clients about non-lemon law related cases, such as a divorce or personal injury matter. I usually refer them to the local bar association for referrals. However, I recently stumbled upon a website that allows folks with a legal issue to have a free consultation with local attorneys. The website is newlawyer.com

The advantage that this site has over other similar sites is that it allows that user to give feedback to their experience with the attorney after the free consultation. Think of it as a version of Ebay's feedback system, except this feedback system if about the attorneys and not about the auction. Click here to learn more on how the site works.

Posted On: July 8, 2009

Tips from the Texas Lemon Law Blog on Buying Used Cars

Although this article is related to used lemon cars, please understand that my office does NOT handle used lemon car cases. Please do not contact our office for legal advice regarding a used car -- you may want to look for an attorney that handles used car cases at NACA.net.

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Automobiles come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and we buy them for a variety of reasons. Some of us look at the snob appeal and buy nothing but the best and most flashy cars in the market while others are more down to earth and prefer practical cars that offer good mileage and a comfortable driving experience. There are times though when we have to settle for a secondhand car, one that has already been driven by someone else and put through a considerable amount of wear and tear. The thing is, although your expenses are considerably lower, buying a used or “pre-owned” car is not as easy as buying a new one because you never know what you are going to get. If you want to protect your money and make sure you get bang for your buck, the Texas lemon law blog has these tips to offer:

* Choose a trustworthy dealer: Although consumers are protected from being stuck with used cars that are lemons, the law is not as supportive or pre-owned cars as it is of new ones. So if you must buy a used car, ensure that you choose a dealer who is reputable and known for their trustworthiness and dependability. Ask around, talk to other customers, and check out the reputation of the dealer before you do business with them.

* Never buy from people you know: At least not without a written agreement and warranty. Even so, if you do discover later that the car is a lemon and that you’ve been taken for a ride, it could get complicated and awkward because you cannot take to court someone you know pretty well. You’re also not able to recoup your investment and end up finding yourself out of a huge chunk of your savings.

* Always use a trusted mechanic to check out the car before you buy: If you know everything there is to know about cars, examine it thoroughly before you buy it. If not, get a mechanic you trust to check it out and test drive it before you put down any money on the table.

* Never buy cars that are advertised “AS IS”: This basically means that you’re not going to be covered by a warranty and that you’re taking the car as it is. These cars most definitely have something seriously wrong with them, so steer clear from them and put your money on something that has more value.

By-line:
This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of court reporter school online at her blog Court Reporter Schools. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com.