A car is much more than a shiny new investment. Countless residents of Florida rely on their vehicles to get to school, work, and medical appointments. Our attorneys at Morgan & Morgan understand that when a new or recently purchased car turns out to be defective, it can be a major family hardship.
How Lemon Laws Protect You
Consumers are protected by Florida’s state lemon laws, which provide recourse for those who have purchased vehicles that fail to meet certain performance and quality standards. Each state generally has its own lemon law, with varying definitions of what qualifies a car as a “lemon.”
These conditions must fall within a certain period of time or mileage after the vehicle was purchased, as to not be confused with general wear-and-tear of the vehicle. For owners of new cars that are still under the manufacturer’s warranty but are experiencing problems with their vehicle, there is a federal lemon law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that can help.
In order to have a successful claim under Magnusson-Moss, a car must have:
- A substantial defect covered by the warranty that impacts the safety and use of the vehicle.
- Undergone at least 3 repairs for the same issue.
- Been unavailable to the consumer for use for 30 days due to repairs.
If a consumer’s car meets these conditions — and there have been plenty of cars that have — the consumer would then have the right to receive either a refund or replacement car from the manufacturer. If the manufacturer refuses to issue this refund or replacement, a consumer has grounds for a breach-of-warranty lawsuit under Magnuson-Moss.
What Products Are Covered?
Under Magnusson-Moss, the following new vehicles are covered:
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Magnusson-Moss suits do not have a statute of limitations for filing a claim, however some states might choose to impose their own on Magnusson-Moss lawsuits filed in state courts. It is best to act as soon as you can, though, in order to help ensure you have the most prepared case possible.
How Do I File a Claim?
After three failed repairs, or 30 days of being unable to use your vehicle due to repairs, the manufacturer must be given written notice of their last chance to fix your vehicle. If, after this final repair attempt, the vehicle still has a defect that disallows safe use, you can make a claim.
What Can I Collect in a Lawsuit?
A consumer can collect a refund or replacement vehicle if their suit is successful. Consumers may also receive additional compensation for certain expenses incurred. In addition to this compensation, the manufacturer will also be responsible for covering the consumer’s attorney and court fees.
Talk to an Attorney Today
If you are experiencing problems with a vehicle that is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, fill out a no-risk, free case evaluation today. We’re here to help.