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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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Satisfaction surveys or questionnaires is the manufacturer’s method of receiving feedback from consumers. The car dealearship sometimes cash rebates and incentives from the manufacturer when they recieve consistent positive feedback from the manufacturer.

In addition, arguably most important, the vehicle manufacturer may use this information as evidence against the consumer during lemon law litigation. I handled a case where the client was a really nice guy, but honestly dissatified with the dealer’s handling of his defective car. He wrote a positive review (without conferring with me beforehand) because it was against his nature to be negative or critical of anyone. During the discovery phase of our lemon law suit, opposing counsel used this as one of the arguments and key evidence to try and prove that the dealer did everything right.

The important thing when answering these surveys is to be objective and honest. Extract your emotions; be professional. If the dealer was neglient or careless, state it in specificity. If you have any doubts, contact a lemon law attorney as soon as possible. Thanks to the attorney fee shifting position, the consumer usually does not have to pay the attorney fees for representation.

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Often times, when our office files a lawsuit against a car manufacturer (such as Chrysler, Ford, or General Motors) and/or dealerships; we cite to both state and federal lemon laws. Both laws provide consumers with limited protection and recourse against the wrongdoer. The federal lemon law applies to all 50 states and the District of Columbia; while the Texas lemon law only applies to vehicles that generally has been purchased in the state of Texas.

One key difference between the federal Magnuson Moss Act and the Texas Lemon Law (found in the Texas Occupations Code and Texas Transportation Code) is the attorney fee shifting provision.

The federal law allows the prevailing consumer’s attorney to recover attorney fees and costs from the defendant (vehicle manufacturer/dealer). In other words, if your new car, truck, boat, motorhome, or recreational vehicle fails you multiple times and you win or settle your case, then manufacturers (such as Honda, Chrysler, Toyota, Kia, Coachmen, Gulfstream, Newmar, or Vogue) will have to pay for your attorney fees.

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I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a Merry New Year.

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On behalf of my lemon law office, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

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After handling numerous Texas Lemon Law cases, I have noticed that the biggest misconception that vehicle owners or consumers have when it comes to the Texas Lemon Law is that they think a lemon law replacement or buyback is quick and automatic.

The statement I hear most often is, “what do you mean it may take several weeks or months to determine if I am eligible for a buyback or refund?…my car is a piece of junk and I have taken it in over 3 times!” It is true that under the Texas Lemon Law, consumers have rights, but those rights are minimal. Some consumers who moved to Texas from California presumes that the lemon laws in Texas are the same, if not better than California Lemon Law. Unfortunately, that is not true.

While the quick and automatic buyback/replacement myth may be partially true in a very small number of cases, the reality is that the law has more nuisances and traps in it than most people realize. My number one advice when it comes to lemon law cases is to be patient and to seek the help of someone who is experienced and can guide you in the right direction.

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It is hard to believe it, but it has been over three years since I posted my first Texas Lemon Law blog article. I hope that consumers and fellow attorneys find the posts on here helpful.

Here is a re-cap of my 3 most favorite posts on this lemon law blog site:

1) Texas Lemon Law Deadline — written on November 5th 2007, the deadline for filing a lemon law claim in Texas still holds true. Act swiftly, as failure to timely file may mean that you lose right to your claim for a repurchase or replacement of a defective new lemon car. In the event that your deadline has past, you may have other claims with longer deadlines. Consult a lemon law attorney as soon as possible!

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At the end of the day, it’s all a numbers game. For future demo or used GM car buyers, the number might not be in your favor. Here’s why…

General Motors’ new money-back guarantee will most likely attract many consumers and new car buyers between September 14 – November 30. After the wave of car purchasers drive the vehicle for 31 to 60 days, a percentage of these folks will take advantage of the money-back guarantee program and return the vehicle (sometimes between October 15 through December 29).

The reasons for returns, like electronics, may vary from preference (nothing is wrong with the vehicle) to defects (the vehicle’s engine is sputtering black smoke and it’s been taken back 4 times for repairs). Unlike returned electronics, GM has been silent and has not mentioned any refurbish or product re-certification program.

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Working with Texas lemon law related car claims on a daily basis gives me a unique opportunity to view the automotive and insurance industry differently from most consumer’s point of view. Recently, I stumbled on this great car insurance website that helps consumers with quality information on car insurance information and providers.

Here’s a brief plug about the site:

“In most of the United States, having some kind of car insurance isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law. Paying for insurance can be a strain even for those of us for whom the price of gas earlier this summer was more of an annoyance than a financial catastrophe, especially if we drive cars with high accident statistics, or large engines. “Knowing is half the battle,” the proverb says, and when it comes to finding cheap car insurance, those in the know head toward CarInsuranceList.com.

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