Articles Posted in Texas Lemon Law Information

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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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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…,”

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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.

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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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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.
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