Purchasing or leasing a new car can be fun and exciting. From shopping around to different dealerships to test-driving brand new models, new cars can completely change how people spend a great deal of their time. Unfortunately, every once in a while, a new car may turn out to be a lemon.
The term “lemon” refers to a new car or other motor vehicle with serious defects beyond repair. Lemons have significant “nonconformities” that a manufacturer or authorized service center cannot fix after multiple reasonable attempts. State laws consider the nature of the vehicle’s problem, the number of days it has been unavailable to the consumer (this includes days as a result of the “nonconformity” as well as during the repair), and the number of unsuccessful repair attempts made to remedy the issue. Such considerations factor into how the consumer will be compensated once the lemon law case is settled.
Having a car in one’s possession that qualifies as a lemon does not automatically mean that an individual will recoup their funds or even receive assistance under Florida’s Lemon Law. In order to ensure proper compensation for one’s time, money, and efforts, it is essential to hire a qualified Florida Lemon Law attorney. Florida Lemon Law attorneys can help individuals adhere to the strict time limitations imposed by Florida’s Lemon Laws, provide proper documentation to manufacturers, and engage in informal dispute resolution processes.
ADHERENCE TO TIME LIMITS
Time constraints are some of the most important factors to consider when filing a lemon law claim in the state of Florida. After 3 unsuccessful attempts to fix the same “nonconformity” that has been designated as per the warranty, an individual must provide proper written notice to the car’s manufacturer by either registered or express mail. The manufacturer then has 10 days, starting upon the confirmed receipt of the notification, to respond. The manufacturer must then give the consumer the opportunity to have the vehicle fixed at repair facility deemed accessible to the consumer within a reasonable time after the confirmed receipt of the consumer’s response. Once these steps have been taken, the manufacturer then has another 10 days to conform to the originally dictated “nonconformity,” or take additional action to remedy it.
The number of days a vehicle was out of service due to the defect, as well as the overall number of days the vehicle could not be used by the consumer due to the attempts to repair it also matter. If a consumer is unable to use his or her vehicle for 15 days or more, additional notification must be given to the manufacturer. Sticking to these timelines and making sure that manufacturers are being honest with their confirmation of response receipts is a job best taken on by a qualified Florida Lemon Law attorney.
REPRESENTATION FOR INFORMAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS
In the event that the vehicle’s manufacturer or an authorized service center cannot repair the vehicle within a reasonable amount of time (3 attempts or fewer), and the consumer has provided proper written notice, an informal dispute resolution process many ensue. This process involves the manufacturer of the vehicle and/or arbitration before the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Boards. While such proceedings do not require representation by a Florida Lemon Law attorney, it is advisable to ensure adequate compensation for time, effort, and money spent.
RECEIPT OF DESERVED COMPENSATION
Florida’s Lemon Law offers several remedies to help consumers recoup lost funds and effort due to a new, defective vehicle. If a vehicle is deemed a lemon, Florida law states that the manufacturer must either replace or refund the full purchase price (whichever the individual chooses). Additionally, the law stipulates that consumers must be adequately compensated in not only the form of the manufacturer’s payment but also for related reasonable expenses (e.g. rental cars during this process, repair fees, etc.). Experienced Florida Lemon Law attorneys such as those at Bad Vehicle can help ensure that consumers receive the compensation they deserve.