Under the Texas Lemom Law, when does the statute of limitation begin to run against me, the consumer?
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.
There are exceptions to the trigger of the statute of limitations. For example, instead of finding that the trigger point is the date found on the sales contract, the court may find that the statute of limitation begins to run against the buyer on the date when the buyer "should have reasonably" known that there are issues with the new vehicle. This occurs frequently on misrepresentation or fraudulent transactions. It is best to contact a DTPA or Texas Lemon Law attorney to discuss your specific situation, as every case is different.