Articles Posted in Texas Lemon Law Information

Published on:

It’s heartbreaking to me every time a client contacts my office and doesn’t have a strong case due to the fact that their paperwork or evidence is not in order.  For example, the client may have taken the new car in on numerous occasions because of a defect, but there are no repair invoices to substantiate the repair visit.

When someone buys a new vehicle, no one thinks that a new car, truck, or motor home needs to be taken in for repairs.  But just like life, nothing is perfect, and thank goodness there is the Texas Lemon Law to protect consumers.  When there isn’t perfection and you must waste an afternoon taking your new vehicle in and wait for it to be repaired, remember to make each visit count and worth something.  Under the Texas Lemon Law, documentation is very important.

Here are a list of “make sures” I always ask the client to be mindful of:

Published on:

Every state law pertaining to the Lemon Law has a guideline as to how many times the vehicle must be taken in for repairs in order to meet the “reasonable attempt” presumption.  Some states require a lighter burden while other states, like Texas, has a slightly heavier attempt requirement.

Under Texas Lemon Law, a reasonable attempt of four times usually trigger that the car, truck, van, SUV is most likely a lemon.  Remember that this “Four Times Test” does not apply to conditions that are inherently a serious or substantial safety hazard, such as safety belt or airbag defects.

A component to consider is that Texas Lemon Law looks to the four times defect occurring within the first 24,000 miles, or first 2 years, whichever occurs first.  This mileage requirement is not applicable to travel trailers, which has a more lax component.

Published on:

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?

Published on:

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

Published on:

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!

Published on:

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.

Published on:

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!

Published on:

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.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

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.