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.
In a nutshell, remember to bring the following to the hearing:
1) all repair invoices of repairs,
2) all documents signed at the time of purchase,
3) all written communication between you and the car manufacturer,
4) all documents you were able to research about the vehicle’s reliability, such as technical service bulletins (TSB), recalls, and etc.,
5) all written statements from friends or families who witnessed the defect,
6) all photographs of the defect or broken component,
7) a table outlining each repair, the date of the repair, the mileage at the time of repair, etc 8) a copy of the rules and regulations of the program that you are participating in,
9) a copy of your owner’s manual and warranty booklet, and
10) your notes in outline form so that you can concisely present your argument to the hearing officer.
Good luck on your upcoming hearing!