Northern Virginia Lemon Law
You were excited when you purchased your new vehicle and likely planned to keep it for years. Now, though, you can’t help but feel disappointment when you think of your car. Your car constantly breaks down or has an issue that the mechanics have not been able to fix. You are worried about safety, comfort, or reliability and aren’t sure if you can take legal action.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has a lemon law on the books to protect consumers just like you. If you meet the conditions for the law, the manufacturer owes you a full refund or a replacement vehicle. Unfortunately, manufacturers aren’t always cooperative in handing over money or a vehicle without an attorney’s involvement. Our Northern Virginia lemon law attorneys have successfully represented clients and helped them recover the vehicle’s full price or a replacement car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle.
What Is the Lemon Law?
The Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, or lemon law, outlines the eligibility requirements for receiving a refund or a replacement vehicle. The lemon law protects you for the first 18 months following the purchase of a new car. You can pursue a claim if:
Ensure you are protected under the lemon law
If you think your vehicle might be a lemon, there are some things you can do to ensure you are protected. First, take your vehicle to the dealership for repairs. Trying to fix problems yourself or going to a local mechanic could hurt your claim. The manufacturer could blame the repair process instead of the vehicle, and that argument might hold up in court.
Second, keep detailed records of the repairs, and get receipts. The receipts will accomplish two things. First, the receipts will show that you met the eligibility requirements for the lemon law. Second, the receipts will allow your Northern Virginia lemon law attorney to establish a timeline.
Used cars and lemon law protection
If you have a used car, it might be protected under the lemon law, if the previous owner had purchased it as a new car within the previous 18 months.
If your vehicle meets the criteria, it is usually afforded the same protection as a new car you purchased yourself under the lemon law. Numerous people have made successful lemon law claims for these types of used cars. Often, these used cars were sold back to dealerships due to defects. Even though many people have been successful, used cars pose some challenges when filing these claims. Consult with a Northern Virginia lemon law attorney to file your claim to improve your chances of success.
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HOW TO PURSUE A LEMON LAW CLAIM
If your car is protected under the lemon law, you must notify the manufacturer in writing. Your attorney will send a letter that will include the car’s information, along with the issues you’ve experienced. Also, your lawyer will include copies of the repairs. After the manufacturer receives the letter, it might decide to honor the request. However, some manufacturers refuse or try to leave consumers little choice other than arbitration or litigation. Before you agree to arbitration, consider hiring a North Virginia lemon law attorney.
ARBITRATION AND LAWSUITS
Many lemon law claims in North Virginia end up in arbitration. Manufacturers often prefer to see vehicle owners go through arbitration on their own, rather than pursue more effective legal remedies with the help of an attorney. It is your legal right to agree to or refuse arbitration. If you do go through arbitration, have a lawyer present to represent your interests. If you do not want to go to arbitration, your Northern Virginia lemon law attorney can try to settle it directly with the manufacturer, or otherwise take the case to court. You are eligible to receive the value of the vehicle, plus other expenses you’ve incurred, including your attorney’s fees. Another option is to have the manufacturer provide a replacement vehicle. Your attorney will fight for your rights to help you receive compensation or a replacement vehicle.
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