The Lemon Law in Florida was established to recognize and provide a resolution for motor vehicles that are defective directly from a manufacturer. Chapter 681 of Florida Lemon Law, states that out of good faith, motor vehicle companies are responsible for complaints against the motor vehicle warranty to be resolved within a designated period of time. All vehicles that can be considered “lemon vehicles” must have been purchased from a certified Florida dealer.
In the event that you might be experiencing issues with your vehicle, there must have been at least three unsuccessful attempts by the manufacturer or authorized service center to fix a warranty covered problem, these are looked upon by Florida law as the above-stated “reasonable number of attempts at repair”. If your vehicle is out of service for accumulation of days because of efforts to repair a problem you are entitled to have your vehicle presumed as a lemon.
The state of Florida’s Lemon Law policies typically cover new vehicles that have been purchased. There are a few limitations to what can constitute a “lemon vehicle” according to Florida Lemon Law legislature including; trucks that weigh more than 10 thousand pounds, motorcycles, RV’s used for housing, and a few others.
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Florida Lemon Law FAQ’s
If your new car ends up being a lemon in the State of Florida, you do have legal rights, but they are not without limits. The state’s lemon law allows you to return a new or demonstrator vehicle that exhibits defects or conditions that significantly reduce its overall value, its usefulness, and/or its safety. You can only do so, however, if you have reported the defect to the vehicle’s manufacturer or dealer within what is known as the Lemon Law Rights Period. This period allows you 24 months from the time your vehicle was first delivered to you.
If you notify the manufacturer, dealer, or another authorized service agent about the condition of your vehicle within the time limitation, it is required to repair the vehicle in conformity with the original warranty within a reasonable number of attempts. This reasonable number of attempts can play out in either of the following ways:
- You returned the vehicle to the dealership (or authorized service agent) for the same recurring problem at least three times within the 24-month allowance.
- Your vehicle was in and out of the dealer’s repair shop (or authorized service agent) for a total of 15 or more days for one or more problems within the 24-month allowance.
If the car manufacturer fails to correct the problem after being allowed a reasonable number of attempts, it is required by law to buy your lemon back and to either fully refund you or provide you with a replacement vehicle.
While you do have rights if you were sold a lemon in the State of Florida, protecting these rights and obtaining just compensation can be exceptionally challenging. If your vehicle is a lemon, one of the most important steps related to filing your claim is consulting with an experienced Florida lemon law attorney early in the process.
The preliminary steps in the filing process include:
- If your vehicle’s manufacturer has no such requirement, you’ll file your lemon law action with the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board.
- After the submission of your application, an arbitration will be scheduled, and it’s here that you’ll need to prove your case.
Florida’s lemon law applies only to new cars (and to demonstrator vehicles). Under this law, you have legal recourse if your new car requires repair work at the dealership at least three times for the same issue during the first 24 months of it being delivered to you. The same is true if your car spends a total of at least 15 days at the dealers for repairs (for one or more issues) during the same 24-month period. If the manufacturer fails to correct the problem within these three attempts, it is required to either return your purchase price to you or replace the vehicle.
While you do have rights if your car is a lemon, there are also requirements that you must follow, including:
- You must report the issue within 24 months of your car being delivered to you.
- You must allow the manufacturer three attempts to correct the problem within the 24-month timeframe.
- You must prove your case at arbitration.
A skilled Florida lemon law attorney can help you effectively and efficiently navigate the lemon law process – in the protection of your rights and in pursuit of your claim’s best possible resolution.