Florida Lemon Law Explained
Florida’s Lemon Law is a consumer protection law that helps people who buy or lease new vehicles that have major defects that cannot be repaired during the first 24 months of ownership. Even if you are not the original owner or lessee of a vehicle, you may still be able to bring a Lemon Law claim if you purchased a vehicle that malfunctions prior to meeting the 24-month time limit.
These defects must be first reported to the manufacturer or its authorized service agent (usually, this is the dealer) during the first 24 months after the date of delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer. If the manufacturer fails to correct the problem after a “reasonable number of attempts,” the law requires the manufacturer to buy back the defective vehicle and give the consumer a purchase price refund or a replacement vehicle.
Unlike other law firms, we do NOT require you to pay us anything in advance (known as a ‘retainer’). You will have no out-of-pocket fees from us because we are paid by the vehicle manufacturer when we win (or don’t get paid in the rare case we recover nothing).
There are a few requirements that determine whether your new vehicle is covered by Florida’s Lemon Law:
- The vehicle must have been sold (or leased) in Florida.
- The purchase must not have been for resale purposes.
- The vehicle must fall into one of the following categories:
- the vehicle is used for personal, family or household purposes
- the vehicle was acquired from the first owner for personal, family, or household purposes during the first owner’s first 24 months of ownership; or
- the owner or lessee is a person who is entitled to enforce the warranty.
Florida’s Lemon Law Does NOT Cover:
- Trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
- Off-road vehicles
- Vehicles which are purchased for purposes of resale.
- Motorcycles and mopeds
- The living facilities of recreation vehicles.
Not every vehicle defect or problem qualifies you for a Lemon Law claim (although there may be other laws available to make a claim and get compensation).
Florida’s Lemon Law requires:
- A “nonconformity” which means a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle. This can include problems like faulty paint, leaks, electrical, or mechanical problems.
- The nonconformity has not been corrected by the manufacturer or its authorized service agent (typically a dealership) within a reasonable number of repair attempts.
- The defect has not been corrected by the car dealer after three attempts to repair it, and the manufacturer was notified of the issue and given an opportunity to repair it OR the vehicle has been out-of-service because of the defect for a cumulative total of 30 or more days.
Under Florida’s Lemon Law, the manufacturer must either replace the vehicle or refund the full purchase price– you choose the option you want.
IN ADDITION, if the consumer wins the case, the vehicle manufacturer is required to pay all attorneys’ fees and other legal costs.
If the problems with your vehicle started after the first 24-month period, you may still be protected under other consumer protection laws, such as breach of implied product warranties or a fraud claim against the dealer.
NO. The Lemon Law is designed so that the owner of a defective vehicle is fully reimbursed and not stuck paying additional expenses or costs. This means that the vehicle manufacturer is required to pay all attorneys’ fees and other legal costs if the consumer wins the case IN ADDITION TO refunding or replacing your vehicle.
Timothy Abeel & Associates, does not charge any up-front fees. If you win your Lemon Law claim, the manufacturer will pay the attorneys’ fees, and even if you do not win your claim, YOU WILL NEVER BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES.
Yes, we file Lemon Law claims for vehicle owners throughout Florida no matter where they live in the state. If we need to have an expert inspect your vehicle and write a report, we will send that person to you.
We work tirelessly to get our clients back on the road and with money back in their pockets as soon as possible, with a goal of settling each case within the first 30 to 90 days. We aren't afraid to file suit against the manufacturer if they refuse to give our clients everything they're legally entitled to.
Even if the repairs and issues with your vehicle don’t fit within the parameters of Lemon Law, they may qualify as unreasonable under other state or federal consumer protection laws. Call Timothy Abeel & Associates at 888.611.5481 or contact us online to find out if you have a breach of warranty or loss in value claim.
Timothy Abeel & Associates, works to get the owners of defective or malfunctioning vehicles the settlement they deserve as fast as possible. Give our firm a call at 888-611-5481 contact us online to find out what you are entitled to as a consumer.