Aside from the Texas lemon law, consumers of defective cars may file a claim against a car manufacturer through the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Lemon Law Arbitration Program. Usually, the BBB arbitration program is binding to the manufacturer and non-binding to the consumer.
This article will not discuss the benefits or disadvantages of participating in this program, as each case is different and it is best that you contact a lemon law attorney to determine which options may be best for you.
The first step in opening a claim with the BBB program is to determine if your car manufacturer participates in the arbitration program in your state. The second step is to file a claim with the BBB either by telephone or online at the BBB website.
After you have submitted your basic information, the BBB mails you a “Customer Claim Form.” You will need to complete the form and mail it back to the BBB within a certain amount of time. Thereafter, the BBB will use the information that you have provided to determine whether your vehicle is eligible to participate in the program or not – this is normally based on the current mileage on your vehicle and how long it has been since the time that you purchased the alleged lemon car.
The next step involves the BBB case handler contacting you and the manufacturer to informally resolve the “lemon dispute” on your car. Typically, the manufacturer will take on the position of denying your claim and possibly offering you an extended warranty. If you do not accept the extended warranty offer, then you may request or move to have your claim proceed to arbitration.
At arbitration, you will be given an opportunity to present your case to an arbitrator. The hearing is usually assigned near where you live and it most likely will be recorded. After the hearing, you should receive a notice of outcome within one or two weeks.