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What If Your Dealer Cannot Repair Your Recalled or Defective Vehicle?

Owners of recalled and defective vehicles who cannot get the parts for repair are turning to lemon law for replacement vehicles and cash compensation.

When your car, truck, or SUV is subject to a recall or your recently purchased vehicle is defective, the manufacturer must repair the problem at no cost to you. Unfortunately, many legally required repairs are not happening in today’s struggling auto industry. Parts and labor shortages, ongoing supply chain delays, and a global semiconductor chip shortage are causing lengthy delays to vehicle repairs. Some owners report that they are waiting months for repairs to their vehicle. Many do not know that lemon laws can help owners who are waiting an unreasonable time for their vehicle to be repaired.

What is lemon law?

Lemon laws are state consumer protection laws that apply to recently purchased (or, in some states, leased) vehicles. Because lemon laws are state laws, they are slightly different in every state so if you are considering a lemon law claim, you should look at the requirements where you are, and contact an attorney who is licensed in your state.

In general, lemon law makes an auto manufacturer repair a recently purchased vehicle that has a significant defect within a reasonable time. If the manufacturer does not repair the defect within a reasonable time, they are typically required to offer the vehicle owner a comparable replacement vehicle or a refund of their purchase price. In some cases, owners prefer an alternative remedy, such as a cash and keep settlement, which is currently popular while vehicles are priced high and in short supply. The law also makes the manufacturer pay the vehicle owner’s attorney costs.

Does lemon law really apply to repair delays?

YES. The law clearly states that an automaker must repair a defective vehicle within a reasonable time. Each state sets out what a “reasonable time” is but many give manufacturers 3 repair attempts or 30 cumulative days out of service. The 30 days includes any time that the vehicle is at the shop for repair or cannot be used by the owner because of the defect, which could be one long 30 day period or lots of shorter repair visits. Also, some states will allow you to show that the wait has been unreasonable even if the manufacturer has not had 3 attempts or 30 days to repair the problem. Check the laws in your state for the specific rules that apply to you.

The reasonable time rules applies even if the manufacturer has a legitimate reason for the delays. It may be impossible for the dealer to get the part that your vehicle needs but, when it comes to lemon law, that is the manufacturer’s problem, not yours.

Wouldn’t it be quicker and cheaper to wait for the repairs?

By the time people turn to lemon law, they have often dealt with a lot of hassle from both their vehicle and their dealer, and they are worried that involving a lawyer will add a whole new layer of problems and expenses. That should not be so. A good lemon law attorney will take on your burden and force forward movement in your case, and a successful lemon law claim should not cost you a dime. While your claim progresses, you can still continue to bring your vehicle to your dealer for repair.

Typically, when we accept a lemon law client, they have been trying to get their problem vehicle repaired for at least a month and they still have no hope for a successful repair soon. When we step into help, we communicate with the manufacturer directly on the client’s behalf and often get settlements for our clients within 30 – 90 days (though every case is different and we cannot guarantee a timeline for any case.) You can find more information about how our lemon law process works on our website.

Like your repairs, your lemon law claim should be free to you, so you should not be out of pocket if you pursue a lemon law claim. Lemon laws specifically state that the automaker must pay your legal fees in a successful lemon law claim. At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we guarantee that, win or lose, we will never send you a bill for our services.

What should you do next?

If your dealer has told you that they cannot get the parts for your vehicle repair or has been unable to repair your recently purchased vehicle for any reason, you may be able to bring a lemon law claim for a replacement vehicle, refund, or cash compensation. Contact one of our experienced lemon law team at Timothy Abeel & Associates online or by calling 888-830-1474 today.

Experiencing Similar Issues?

If your car was manufactured between 2018 and 2023 we may be able to help. Contact us for more information.