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Lesson learned from Texas Lemon Law Hearing

Four months ago, a friend of mine called my office four days before his scheduled administrative hearing with the Texas Department of Transportation regarding his lemon vehicle. I asked him to forward the documents to my office before I agreed to attend the hearing with him.

Upon receiving the documents, I noticed that my friend’s file did not include a copy of the notice letter to the car manufacturer. I asked my friend about this and he told me that when he called the 1 800 lemon law number to the Texas Department of Transportation, he spoke with a representative from the department and the person on the phone told him that he did not need to mail the manufacturer any.

I ended up attending the hearing with my friend anyways. At the hearing, the administrative judge focused on the fact my friend failed to provide written notice to the manufacturer. Further, the administrative judge stated that because of the failure to provide the manufacturer with a 30 day notice, that my friend also did not provide the manufacturer with a final opportunity to cure.

Several days ago, my friend told me that he received the proposed decision from the administrative judge in the mail. It looks like the proposed decision is to dismiss the case simply due to my friend’s failure to send a written notice demand letter. At the end of the day, the lesson to be learned by this is that all consumers who plan on filing a case with the DOT should send a written notice letter to the manufacturer as soon as possible. I recommend making a copy of the notice letter and sending is USPS certified mail with return receipt requested (RRR).

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