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Will new Australian Lemon Laws be better than the Texas Lemon Law?

Update: See 10/9/07.

Often times, my lemon law practice in Dallas receives potential client calls from consumers who purchase defective cars from out of state. In such cases, I would direct them to find a lemon law attorney in that particular state — as the vehicle’s state of purchase is often the proper jurisdiction for these type of claims. Interestingly, I have not run into a situation where the consumer purchased the vehicle from out of the country….such as Australia.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), the Australian Government will soon join the ranks of other states and countries in providing its citizens with consumer lemon law protections. The proposed Australian lemon law is currently being drafted and is tentative.

It is speculated that the law, similar to the Texas lemon law, will require car buyers to bring the vehicle in for repeated repair attempts. The law will most likely have a provision for vehicles that have been at the service center for over a period of time — such as 30 days or more. Other issues that remain uncertain are: (1) the statute of limitation (deadline to filing a lemon law claim), (2) safety defects, (3) warranty disclosures, and (4) attorney fee shifting provisions.

As a comparison, in Texas, in order to meet the rebuttable presumption on a lemon law case, the consumer must meet one of the following: (1) four unsuccessful attempts for the same defect, (2) 30 days or more at the service center without a comparable loaner vehicle, or (3) two unsuccessful attempts for a serious safety issue.

Please note that the Texas lemon law is much more complex than the information that has been summarized above. If you suspect that you have a potential lemon vehicle, it is important to contact a lemon law attorney as soon as possible.

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