January 2, 2014

What is the Texas Lemon Law 30 Day Test?

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?

Wrong! "Substantial" or "substantially" has also been defined very narrowly by legislatures and arbitrators. In the end, very few consumers have realistically taken advantage of the 30 day provision of the Texas Lemon Law. Feel free to fill out this intake form for a free case review of have your questions answered by my law office.

June 29, 2013

Lemon Law Mill: What is it?

The following link is from our texaslemon.com'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
services to its consumers and its representation of the client's best interest.

When quantity supersedes quality, a lot is suffered. The client will get little attention from his or her attorney, and most of the case will be handled by law clerks and paralegals. Often times, in order to generate revenue, the lemon law mill may compromise the outcome of the client's case if it becomes hurdled with challenges and issues. Similar to a puppy mill, a lemon law mill should be avoided as much as possible.

June 3, 2011

Statute and Mileage Limitations of the Texas Lemon Law

Texas Lemon Law has strict guidelines in terms of eligibility to file a claim with the Enforcement Division. Chapter 2301 of the Texas Lemon Law (Subchapter M) provides that a consumer must file a Texas Lemon Law claim as soon as possible, within 30 months from the date of delivery and ownership.

In addition, there is a "per occasion" and mileage limitation. Specifically, the consumer must bring the vehicle in for repairs for two times within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles AND thereafter bring it in AGAIN for two more times within the subsequent 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Towable recreational vehicles (TRV) are not subject to this per occasion mileage restriction.

If you're reading this thinking that this cookie cutter guideline makes it extremely difficult to prevail in a typical Texas Lemon Law claim, then you are probably correct. Hence, it is important to always maintain accurate documentation. If the service center sends you off without completing a repair invoice (purchase order), then you must insist that they produce it!

January 16, 2011

Texas Lemon Law Information in Spanish

If you have a lemon vehicle, please feel free to call my office and leave a voice message in Spanish. We will have a Spanish speaking representative contact you to discuss your lemon law situation with you. 1(888)333-3813.

La Ley Limón de Texas es una ley de protección al consumidor que exige a todas las compañías automovilísticas reembolsar a sus clientes por cualquier gasto ocasionado por fallas o defectos de nuevos carros. Si usted tiene problemas con su nuevo carro y lo ha llevado al menos 3 veces (o mas) al taller de reparaciones, la compañía automovilística deberá reembolsarle los gastos de reparación o reemplazarle su carro con el millaje que le corresponde o mas apropiado. En la mayoría de estos casos, la Ley Limón de Texas no requiere que la compañía pague por los gastos legales.

December 15, 2009

Lufkin Texas Lemon Law Information

Three days ago, the Lufkin Daily News printed an article about the Texas Lemon Law. Under the paper's "Ask the Lawyer" section, a consumer wrote to Attorney Jeffrey Bates about a new vehicle that is constantly giving him repair problems.

Mr. Bates responded by providing an outline and overview of the Texas Lemon Law. Of importance is the section regarding "substantial impair."

Remember, if you think that you may be in possession of lemon car, then remember to contact a lawyer, open a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, or file a case with the Texas Department of Transportation as soon as possible. The deadline to do something will expire before you know it!

For more information about the Lufkin Daily News article, download the article here => Download file

August 9, 2009

Top two misconceptions of the Texas Lemon Law

After being woken up by a call at 11 pm on a Sunday night from a person who recently purchased a used lemon car, I decided that it's a good idea to post a blog about the top two misconceptions of the Texas Lemon Law. (Granted, I should re-program my phone answering system to not forward calls to my cell phone after hours to avoid folks calling me at arguably unreasonable hours).

1) Misconception number 1: All cars are covered under the Texas Lemon Law

- Wrong! The Texas Lemon Law mainly applies to NEW vehicles. In some very limited cases, used vehicles are covered to the extent that the manufacturer is required to repair the vehicle, but only if the used vehicle had existing warranty at the time of purchase and you timely file your claim. So, for example, if you have a used Ford lemon car, please do not call my law office. However, if you purchased a NEW Ford lemon car and it is giving you problems, then please contact me.

2) Misconception number 2: I'll keep letting the dealership be nice and courteous to me and I can file a lemon law claim at anytime.

- Wrong! When the lemon law was originally drafted in Texas and thereafter revised, the deadline to file a claim is VERY short. It is within 24,000 miles or 24 months from the date of purchase, whichever occurs first. The law does not care that you took the vehicle in to be looked at before this deadline, it cares that you file your claim within the allotted statute of limitation. (If you past this deadline, then there may still be other laws that may protect you, but contact my office for more details).

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.

October 29, 2008

Texas Lemon Law testimonial from a recent client with a problematic Chrysler truck

Most consumers who find themselves stuck with a lemon car that was purchased new find themselves paralyzed when trying to figure out what to do with a car that routinely has problems.

When the consumer brings the vehicle into the service center, the service representative is always cooperative and cordial, but at the end of the day, the car still has problems after the 3rd or 4th visit. When the consumer contacts the car manufacturer, they are assigned a case manager who provides no solution to the consumer -- a lot of times, the consumer is led to run around in circles.

This is the situation that my recent client from Alpine, Texas found himself in. At first when I spoke with this client, he was very frustrated with the predicament that Chrysler put him through. I started working on this client's case after he submitted documents to my office, after we discussed his options, and after he signed the representation agreement with my office in early May 2008.

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When I first accepted this client's case, I was confident that he had a lemon and I was focused on helping him get out of his lemon truck. After jumping through various hurdles with the opposing side, we were able to get this client a repurchase on his vehicle. All in all, a success in my book... here is the client's testimonial.

July 1, 2008

Strong lemon law will be improved,... just not in Texas

California's already strong lemon law, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, has been amended on January 1, 2008, to include military personnel stationed in California.

In the past, California's lemon law, similar to other lemon laws throughout the country (including Texas lemon law), is only applicable inside the state where the consumer purchased the subject vehicle. In other words, proper jurisdiction is directly related to the state where the purchase transaction took place.

With this new amendment, military service personnel who is stationed in California at the time the vehicle was purchased or the time the lemon law action is filed, can lean on California's lemon law to get a repurchase or replacement on a defective vehicle. This is strategically a benefit and convenience for our men and women in the military, especially if they purchased the vehicle or reside in a state where the lemon law is not as strong as California.

Specifically, where a consumer's car is ineligible for a repurchase in Texas because the deadline to file has padded, if that consumer was stationed in California at the time of purchase or the time they file a lemon law claim, then he or she can forgo the harsh Texas Lemon Law program and file under the California Lemon Law program instead.

May 22, 2008

How to Avoid Buying a Texas Lemon Car Online

This article is contributed by Heather Johnson, who regularly writes on the topic of top online universities. She invites your questions and writing job opportunities at her personal email address: heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

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Internet shopping is more commonplace than ever before and, surprisingly, people are even making large purchases online. Real estate is being sold on the Internet, for instance, and there are many online car dealerships that are finding great success on the Web. Although convenient, making an expensive purchase through a virtual store has its risks. If you are buying a car online through a Texas dealership, you need to take extra precautions to avoid purchasing a lemon.

Remember, if you are buying through a Texas dealership online, you are still protected by the Texas Lemon Law. However, you need to be even more cautious when purchasing a car that you won't be test-driving beforehand. To some, this kind of business transaction sounds ludicrous. However, many people have found some fantastic deals online. By proceeding with caution and following these tips, you can avoid buyer's remorse.

* Research the car you are about to purchase. What is its market value? What are the common complaints about this year and model? If this car is known for certain mechanical issues, you need to know this so you can inquire further.

* Research the seller you are dealing with. If this person / dealership has a bad reputation, it is better to find out beforehand.

* Make sure you have seen many detailed and recent photographs of the car. You will want to see the exterior, interior and under the hood. Request more photographs if necessary.

* If the car is used, purchase an auto history report in order to confirm that the car has never sustained any documented flooding or damage.

* If you are not able to examine the car in person, consider having a third-party mechanic look the car over on your behalf. This will cost money, of course, but may save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Purchasing a car online has its risks and rewards. Remember, the Texas Lemon Law will protect your consumer rights. However, it is preferable that you do all you can to avoid buying a Texas lemon car to begin with. If you feel you have found a great deal on an online vehicle, carefully heed the above advice.

February 12, 2008

Similarities between Texas Lemon Law and Michigan Lemon Law

Renee Walsh, a fellow blogger and attorney, recently wrote a very informative blog article regarding the Michigan Lemon Law and the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

Ms. Walsh's article mentions the lack of coverage that current Michigan Lemon Law has on used or preowned cars. Thereafter, she explores alternative remedies that a consumer may have against sellers of used and defective cars. The article also outlines the the exact language of the Michigan consumer protection statute.

Similar to Michigan, Texas has a Texas Lemon Law that aims to protect buyers of new cars. Further, Texas also has a consumer protection law, entitled Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). The DTPA has been successfully used to sue car car dealers for deceptive and dishonest practices.

For more about the article, please go here.

December 30, 2007

What is lemon laundering?

Lemon laundering is the practice whereby car manufacturers resell a vehicle to a third innocent subsequent car buyer after it has been repurchased or replaced from the original car owner under applicable state lemon laws. Here at my Dallas, Texas lemon law practice, I get calls about this very often.

The term "lemon laundering" is believed to be first used by Gayle Pena to describe a personal experience she had with purchasing a pre-owned/used lemon car. The car she purchased was a Chevrolet Suburban with defective brakes and transmission.

Contrary to popular belief, the act of lemon laundering is not necessarily illegal, as states have different and varying lemon laws -- it is, however, highly unethical. Unfortunately, car manufacturers are not in the business to be ethical and do it more often than not.

Some state lemon laws do not even address or acknowledge that such practices exist. In fact, car manufacturers use this fact to its advantage to get rid of lemon cars that have previously been repurchased or replaced.

Here's how the scenario works, a car manufacturer drafts an Excel worksheet that lists all 50 state lemon laws in the United States, indicating which state lemon law requires a formal disclosure to consumers that a vehicle has been marked a lemon due to a repurchase or replacement status. The car manufacturers then transports those lemon cars to be sold in those specific states that do not require lemon disclosures.

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Image Source: www.safetyforum.com/lemon

Please contact your state legislatures about this loophole in your state lemon law. Do not wait until you've been a victim of lemon laundering to act against these car manufacturer's unethical behavior.

December 28, 2007

Texas Lemon Law article in the Lufkin Daily News

Jeff Bates, a Texas attorney, wrote an article in the Lufkin Daily News regarding the Texas Lemon Law this past Sunday. The article highlights the three (3) rebuttable presumptions that a consumer is required to meet before becoming eligible for a car repurchase or replacement under the Texas Lemon Law.

The only thing that I would like to add that the article does not mention is the following:

Texas Lemon Law Statute of Limitation: it is important to note that if you are a consumer who purchased a new car and believe that you might have a lemon in possession, then it is important to be mindful of the deadline to file a claim with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT). Failure to do so might make your vehicle ineligible for the Texas Lemon Law administrative program. Please contact a Texas Lemon Law attorney as soon as possible to determine if the deadline has passed or not.

The Exception to the Texas Lemon Law Thirty (30) Day Out of Service Rule: there is a third rebuttable presumption that states that there is a "substantial impairment" if the vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 days. However, you have to read the entire statute. Section § 2301.605(c) of the General Warranty Complaints of the Texas Occupations Code Annotated (this section is better known as the Texas Lemon Law) states that the "30 days described ... do not include any period during which the manufacturer or distributor lends the owner a comparable motor vehicle while the owner's vehicle is being repaired by a franchised dealer."

December 9, 2007

Texas Lemon Law: how car dealers avoid liability by using the "no problem found" (NPF) or "vehicle operating as designed" excuse.

Often times, my Dallas based lemon law office cannot accept certain potential lemon car cases due to insufficient documentation. What I mean by this is that a consumer might have a very strong lemon law claim, but the potency of their claim has been watered down because of several new techniques that car service centers are using to avoid liability under the Texas Lemon Law.

When a consumer brings a car in for a concern or complaint of a car defect such as "engine noises while driving," the service center is required to document the repair attempt by issuing a repair order for the consumer's visit. Under the Texas Lemon Law, the best way to prove up that you have met one of the 3 prong rebuttable presumption to win your case is through repair invoices.

The first trick that car dealerships use to avoid liability is to conveniently forget to print out repair invoices for the consumer. If you've left a car dealership without a repair order in your hand when you pick up your car, then you've done yourself an injustice. If the dealership says that it does not issue out repair invoices for this type of repair, ...or the repair is too small to constitute additional paperwork,...or "we couldn't find anything wrong"...then you must ask yourself, why are they abandoning normal protocol of issuing out repair invoices to document their time at work?...especially since authorized repair work that has been done under warranty is usually charged or reimbursed to the manufacturer at pre-determined rates and arrangements.

Continue reading "Texas Lemon Law: how car dealers avoid liability by using the "no problem found" (NPF) or "vehicle operating as designed" excuse." »

December 7, 2007

Texas Lemon Law's three-prong factors that will help you win and get a replacement or repurchase on your car.

Texas Lemon Law has a clearly defined three-prong approach on which vehicles are eligible for a lemon law buyback or replacement.

Under Section 2301.605 of the Texas Occupations Code (Title 14, Subtitle A, Chapter 2301, Sub-chapter A), it states in relevant part that a vehicle meets the rebuttable presumption if:

(1) "...the same nonconformity continues to exist after being subject to repair four or more times...,"

(2) "...the same nonconformity creates a serious safety hazard and continues to exist after causing the vehicle to have been subject to repair two or more times...," or

(3) "...a nonconformity still exists that substantially impairs the vehicle's use or market value and... the vehicle is out of service for repair for a cumulative total of 30 or more days..."

Keep in mind that there are more stringent requirements, but I am cutting and pasting relevant parts to help dissect the law into smaller and easier to understand sub parts. Below is a layman's description when it comes to the 3 part rebuttable presumption.

Please note that this is not legal advice. Every situation and case is different and you ought to contact an attorney as soon as possible to get clarification on your set of facts.

To start, what is a "rebuttable presumption"? A rebuttable presumption is something that the court will accept as true, unless it has been unproven or proven otherwise by the manufacturer or car dealer.

Keep in mind that a car owner needs to only meet the one of the three prongs to achieve the rebuttable presumption. However, I always recommend to my clients that they meet at least 2 of the 3 prongs to be safe. I call it the prong backup plan.

The first prong is self explanatory. Keep in mind that same conformity does not necessarily have to be a specific vehicle part, it can be a larger vehicle category, such as the transmission system, brake system, engine, electrical or electronic system, body, and etc. What matters is how you present and frame the nonconformity to the administrative judge and the Texas Department of Transportation's (DOT) case handler.

Regarding interpretations on how the facts are applied to the second and third prong, please contact my lemon law office.

December 3, 2007

Texas Lemon Law Summary -- Power Point Presentation.

Too often, consumers are left in the dark about their Texas Lemon Law rights.

Although the internet may be a great resource to research, it may be cluttered with non-specific information about general lemon laws, as opposed to state specific Texas Lemon Law. Other times, it may be cluttered with complex legalese that is difficult to understand.

If you go to my main website, you will find a power point presentation that provides you with a quick summary about the Texas Lemon Law. The power point presentation is located on the right side of the screen, right underneath where it says, "We DO NOT Accept PREOWNED Lemon Law cases." Or, you can click here.

This information is not legal advice, by any means, but at least it serves as a good starting point to learn about your rights and what to do in the event that you were sold a lemon within Texas.

November 26, 2007

Texas lemon law for wheelchairs

As an attorney who frequently handles Texas lemon law cases, I often receive calls from potential clients regarding lemon law coverage for non-vehicles such as computers, electronics, and other consumer household items.

Unfortunately, at this time, the Texas lemon law does not extend to non-vehicle related items (other state and federal consumer warranty laws may help you instead). One alternative is to look up the dealer or supplier of the wheelchair and file a Better Business Bureau claim (BBB) against the people who made or sold the wheelchair.

Interestingly, this morning, I came across a very interesting article today regarding lemon laws for wheelchairs, but only if you purchased the wheelchair within the state of New Jersey. The "wheelchair lemon law" was enacted a little over ten years ago to protect NJ residents from manufacturers of defective lemon wheelchairs.

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It is important to note that this law only applies to wheelchair manufacturers and not suppliers. The article further goes into detail about what the wheelchair purchaser (plaintiff) went through before they were able to settle the case out of court.

If I have a wish list when it comes to the ability to amend or modify the current Texas lemon law, I would change it to include additional consumer items, such as wheelchairs, consumer safety equipment, limited appliances, and some electronic devices that costs above a specific amount.

November 19, 2007

Essential documents to bring at the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Arbitration or the Texas lemon law administrative hearing

Regardless of whether you are scheduled to attend either the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Arbitration or the Texas lemon law administrative hearing (in order to get a lemon vehicle buyback or replacement), it is important to be prepared with essential documents that will help you win your case.

Before proceeding further, I must caution you that although I am an attorney who concentrates my practice to Texas lemon law related cases, that the information found here is not and should not be treated as legal advice. The reason is because every case, regardless of how similar, is different. Therefore, this information is simply a public service presentation and you should contact a Texas lemon law attorney as soon as possible in the event that you have recently purchased a new lemon car.

Because both of the above-mentioned programs generally do not have an attorney fee shifting provision that requires the car manufacturer to pay for your attorney fees if you prevail -- having an attorney represent you in these hearing can be cost prohibitive. Under Texas lemon law, the only time the attorney fee shifting can be invoked by the consumer is when the automobile manufacturer is represented by an attorney at the hearing.

Documentation is key at the hearing. You must have written proof that your car meets the rebuttable presumption of the program. For example, if you are arguing that your car is a lemon because it has been subject to repairs for the illumination of the check engine light, then having for documented repair invoices issued by the service center will solidify your case, rather than relying on the arbitrator or administrative judge to take your word for it.

Continue reading "Essential documents to bring at the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Arbitration or the Texas lemon law administrative hearing" »

November 12, 2007

Texas Department of Transportation's (DOT) Texas Lemon Law Public Service Announcement (PSA)

While driving through Austin, Texas and listening to the radio in my Toyota Rav4 several months ago, I heard a public service announcement (PSA) about the "Texas Lemon Law". Apparently, the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), the administrative body that is responsible for adjudicating Texas Lemon Law claims between the consumer and car manufacturers, paid local Austin radio stations to inform the public about the law and their legal rights...

The jingle, mixed with male vocals and a guitar being played in the background, goes as follows:

"If your car ... won't go ...
It's a lemon. It's a lemon.
But you should not despair ...
over having it repaired ...
the Texas Lemon Law is here"

Although I am intrigued that the Texas DOT is placing these PSAs in local city radios stations, I wish that they would also inform consumers of the deadlines to filing a claim under the Texas Lemon Law. Too often, I witness car buyers being victims to missing the deadline/statute of limitations.

For more information about the PSA, go here.

November 5, 2007

Texas lemon law deadline or statute of limitation (SOL)

The single most important information that consumers need to know about the Texas lemon law is the deadline to filing a timely claim. Unfortunately, the law does not require car dealers or manufacturers to affirmatively disclose this information. Therefore, new car buyers often find themselves ineligible for the Texas lemon law because they rely on the dealer's promise that the car is fixed and have waited to long to assert their rights.

Under Texas lemon law, a consumer must open a case with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) within 24 months from the automobile's date of purchase or within 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Please note that there is a 6 months grace period after the expiration of the deadline, but such grace period is very difficult to assess.

It is recommended that if you suspect that you have a lemon car, that you contact a Texas lemon law attorney as soon as possible -- or, at minimum, open a claim with the DOT immediately.

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October 14, 2007

Some cars last 1 million miles, while others may be lemons.

When you buy a new car, how long should you expect it to last? If you purchased a new car and it is a defective lemon and you are negotiating with the manufacturer for a settlement, the issue of how much value you have received from the car will arise. Simply put, for this purpose under the Texas lemon law, a car’s lifetime is presumed to be 120,000 miles.

In other words, if you used a car for 12,000 miles, then you have “used up” 1/10 the value of the car. In reality, there are more details that factor in, such as the first time you had a problem with the car. Ignoring this, we can broadly figure that the manufacturer expects the car to last 120,000 miles.

In the past, it might have been expected for a car to only last that long, but many modern cars can easily make it further. Currently, the US Department of Transportation reports that the lifespan of a car is 12 years and/or 128,000 miles. John Ibbotson, a supervisor with Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center, says that this figure is so low because of failure of some owners to properly maintain their vehicles. With proper maintenance, you new car might easily make it to 200,000 miles.

Continue reading "Some cars last 1 million miles, while others may be lemons." »

October 4, 2007

Texas Lemon Law coverage in the Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper

Too often, when faced with a new broken car, consumers are unfamiliar with their lemon law rights. Burdened with frustration and the runaround from car dealerships and the manufacturer, some consumers resort to trading in their vehicle at a substantial loss.

Recently, the Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote a brief summary about the Texas lemon law. Personally, I think that this public announcement is a very commendable thing that our local newspaper is doing.

In summary, the newspaper article accurately states that a consumer with a suspected lemon should contact the Texas Department of Transportation by calling the local toll free number immediately. In addition, there is a $35 fee, which is refundable to the consumer if the consumer wins the lemon case via the Texas DOT.

However, the article is silent on the deadline for filing a lemon law complaint. The statute of limitation for Texas lemon cases is usually 24,000 miles or 24 months from the date of purchase, whichever occurs first. If you have missed this deadline, then all hope is not lost, as other laws such as the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) or Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act may still help you.

Please contact a local Texas lemon law attorney for more information. Most lemon law attorneys practice statewide. For example, although my office is based in Dallas and a consumer with a problem car may live in Weatherford or Hillsboro, as long as the vehicle was purchased in Texas, then my office may be able to assist.

October 1, 2007

Will new Australian Lemon Laws be better than the Texas Lemon Law?

Update: See 10/9/07.

Often times, my lemon law practice in Dallas receives potential client calls from consumers who purchase defective cars from out of state. In such cases, I would direct them to find a lemon law attorney in that particular state -- as the vehicle's state of purchase is often the proper jurisdiction for these type of claims. Interestingly, I have not run into a situation where the consumer purchased the vehicle from out of the country....such as Australia.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), the Australian Government will soon join the ranks of other states and countries in providing its citizens with consumer lemon law protections. The proposed Australian lemon law is currently being drafted and is tentative.

It is speculated that the law, similar to the Texas lemon law, will require car buyers to bring the vehicle in for repeated repair attempts. The law will most likely have a provision for vehicles that have been at the service center for over a period of time -- such as 30 days or more. Other issues that remain uncertain are: (1) the statute of limitation (deadline to filing a lemon law claim), (2) safety defects, (3) warranty disclosures, and (4) attorney fee shifting provisions.

As a comparison, in Texas, in order to meet the rebuttable presumption on a lemon law case, the consumer must meet one of the following: (1) four unsuccessful attempts for the same defect, (2) 30 days or more at the service center without a comparable loaner vehicle, or (3) two unsuccessful attempts for a serious safety issue.

Please note that the Texas lemon law is much more complex than the information that has been summarized above. If you suspect that you have a potential lemon vehicle, it is important to contact a lemon law attorney as soon as possible.

September 20, 2007

Jefferson County, Texas: Ford dealership sued over a lemon truck

Mike Stegall is suing Raiford Motors, an authorized Ford dealership, for selling him a lemon F50 pickup truck. According to the pleadings that was filed in the 136th Judicial District court, Stegall alleges that the vehicle was subject to repairs for at least 10 times since it was purchased. It appears that the case is currently pending in Judge Milton Shuffield's courtroom.

Stegall's causes of action stems from both the Texas Lemon Law and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). Stegall is asking the court to award him damages in the cost of the truck, damages under the DTPA, and court costs.

To learn more about the suit, go here. If you are in a similar situation as Mr. Stegall, then feel free to contact my Texas lemon law office for a free case review.