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Answer: Yes, as long as the vehicle was purchased within a Texas dealership, a “demo” or demonstrator vehicle is protected under the Texas Lemon Law.

Other vehicles that are protected under the Texas Lemon Law includes: trucks (Ford Ranger, F-150), cars (Chrysler 200 or 300), motorcycles, motor homes (Winnebago or Fleetwood), or ATVs.

While towable recreational vehicles are also covered under the lemon law, it is essential that towable RVs are titled and registered in Texas.

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The Texas Lemon Law is not just limited to vehicles such as cars, SUVs, or trucks; it also includes recreational vehicles (RVs) and motorhomes. Under the statute, the Texas Lemon Law refers to these vehicles as “towable recreational vehicles.”

If you have a lemon RV or motorhome, it is essential that you contact a lemon law attorney as soon as possible.

Under section 3201.002(32) of the Texas Occupations Code, a “towable recreational vehicle” is defined as a vehicle that is not motorized and:

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According to several consumer protection groups, lemon law complaints against automobile manufacturers was one of the top consumer complaints in 2010. Specifically, the complaints relate to misrepresentations in the sales of new and used vehicles, lemon launderings, leasing, and towing disputes (Source: North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI), the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA)).

These consumer protection groups offer the following three suggestions to avoid being a victim of fraud and ripoff:

1) Pay using a safe method — avoid paying cash. Instead, pay by credit card so that you have another layer of protection in the event you need to dispute a purchase.

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Often times, when consumers contact my lemon law office, it is their first time to contact an attorney. Below is an outline of what to expect when contacting a Texas Lemon Law attorney:

1) Consumer calls, leaves a message, or submits an online form on a Texas Lemon Law attorney’s website.

2) The attorney or his/her staff will ask the consumer preliminary questions regarding the consumer’s situation. Questions include, but are not limited to: year, make, model, recurring defect, accident history, documents, price paid, representations made by the dealer’s service manager, and etc… The attorney will also answer lemon law related questions.

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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!

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Anytime you contact an automobile manufacturer regarding your lemon vehicle (especially in Texas), the manufacturer’s initial response will usually be a denial of your claim. In the denial letter, the manufacturer will normally state the the problems you have experienced with your new vehicle does not meet the requirements of the Texas Lemon Law. As a gesture of “goodwill,” the manufacturer offers you an extended warranty.

Although the information contained in this blog should not be construed as legal advice, but common sense tells us that this is a BAD DEAL. If the vehicle manufacturer offers you an extended warranty, especially in circumstances where you have taken the new vehicle in for the same time at least three to four times, then chances are you may have a valid claim under the Texas Lemon Law.

Call a Texas Lemon Law attorney immediately (it does not have to be me that you call, but please call someone). Most Texas Lemon Law attorneys, including myself, offer a free consultation. Some use the attorney fee shifting provision of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) to help you get a repurchase, replacement, or cash recovery.

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Most consumers are unaware about incidental expenses under the Texas Lemon Law. Under Rule Section 215.209 of the Texas Administrative Code, if a consumer is successful in obtaining a refund or replacement of the vehicle under the Texas Lemon Law, then the consumer is also entitled to incidental costs.

Please keep in mind that Texas Lemon Law incidental fees must be affirmatively proven, meaning that you must submit receipts, paperwork, and documentation at the hearing. Merely stating these costs at the hearing will most likely not work. Incidental fees include:

– the cost of obtaining another form of transportation,

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There are no written rules regarding what makes a lemon law case in Texas an easy slam dunk or a case that is difficult to litigate. In the eyes of vehicle manufacturers (including cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, trailers), the following are lemon law and warranty guidelines that raises red flags:

1) After-market accessories: the vehicle manufacturer is quick to point the finger at the after-market accessory as being the root cause of the defect; even if the after-market component is not even remotely related to the complained of defect;

2) Tampering: in some cases, manufacturers and car dealerships are quick to blame that the consumers tampered with the vehicle. Avoid self installations!!!

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Last Wednesday, Ford announced that it is recalling its 2004-2006 F-150 trucks due to potential defective airbags (recall campaign number 11V107000). Ford did the recall voluntarily under mounting pressure from the National Highway Travel Safety Administration. This airbag issue is consistent with my lemon law offices’ awareness of increased calls from clients who reported similar airbag issues regarding their Ford F-150 trucks.

According to records, the airbags may randomly deploy, even without any major collision impacts. Although Ford contends that this airbag defect represents only a “minor safety risk” to consumers, a quick search on NHTSA’s website shows that there has been reports of vehicle owners “being knocked unconscious” by the faulty air bag. Other owners reported a broken tooth, along with abrasions, contusions and cuts throughout the entire upper body.

This recall is not the only lemon issue that Ford is facing in regards to the same 2005-2006 F-150 trucks. It appears that the same trucks are subject to another recall for defective brakes. As of now, according to the Office of Defects Investigations, there has been “4,465 subject vehicles” that have reported warranty claims relating to this defect. The number of vehicles affects by this faulty brake system is more likely higher.

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By the time that most potential clients contact my law office, they are pretty frustrated with the predicament that they are in. I empathize. I, too, would be frustrated if my new vehicle spends so much time at the auto repair shop.

Below are four potential outcomes of a typical lemon law case in Texas. Please be advised that every case is different and it is vital that you contact an attorney immediately if you believe that you have a claim; as there are strict statute of limitation deadlines involved.

Outcome #1: You win or settle a repurchase of your vehicle. Keep in mind that even with a repurchase, you are responsible for paying a mileage deduction. Also, any rebates or extended warranty applied or purchase at the time of sale will be subtracted from your total repurchase amount.

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