Frequently Asked Texas Lemon Law Questions Explained
Texas Lemon Law is a consumer protection law that helps people who buy or lease new vehicles that have major defects that cannot be repaired and appear during the vehicle’s express warranty period, first 24 months of ownership, or first 24,000 miles driven (whichever is earliest.) To bring a claim under Texas Lemon Law, you must be the person who is entitled to enforce the manufacturer’s original warranty, and the car must be purchased/leased, or titled and registered, in Texas.
Texas Lemon Law covers new vehicles that are purchased, leased, or registered and titled, in Texas, including cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, motor homes, towable recreational vehicles (TRVs), and neighborhood electric vehicles. It also covers demonstrator vehicles that have not been previously titled. It does not cover repossessed vehicles, non-travel trailers, boats, or farm equipment.
Texas Lemon Law will not usually apply to used vehicles, however, if the used vehicle is still covered under the manufacturer’s original warranty (NOT an extended warranty,) Lemon Law may be used to make the manufacturer make repairs under that warranty. Refund and replacement are not available for used cars under Texas Lemon Laws.
No, boats do NOT qualify as vehicles under Texas Lemon Law but there are other laws that can help boat owners if they buy or lease one that’s defective.
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).
Texas Lemon Law requires that:
- The vehicle has a substantial manufacturing defect or condition that creates a serious safety hazard or substantially impairs its use or market value.
- The defect is covered by the manufacturer’s written warranty.
- ANY of the below 4 statements are true:
- The owner gave notice of the defect to the dealer or manufacturer within the warranty term and at least 1 opportunity to repair the defect; OR
- The defect has not been repaired after 4 repair attempts by the dealer or manufacturer within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles (whichever occurs first); OR
- The defect creates a serious safety hazard, and has not been repaired after 2 repair attempts by the dealer or manufacturer within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles (whichever occurs first;) OR
- The vehicle is out of service for repair for 30 or more days within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles (not including any days when the owner was given a comparable loaner.)
Texas’s Lemon Law provides for two remedies. The law requires the manufacturer to either replace the vehicle or refund the full purchase price. In either case, the manufacturer is also required to reimburse the consumer for reasonable incidental costs, such as car rental, tow trucks, and attorney fees (if the owner retains a lawyer after being notified that the manufacturer has legal representation.) The manufacturer is also allowed to deduct an amount for the consumer’s use of the vehicle.
- A replacement vehicle: You are entitled to receive a comparable vehicle (same make, model and trim level) with credit for all of your payments as if you still owned the original vehicle, less a reduction for mileage used. In other words:
- Your loan or lease continues at its current unpaid balance and will still run for the original term (it is not extended).
- Your prior payments are counted toward the loan or lease as if you still owned the defective vehicle. In other words, if you were in month six of a four-year car loan or lease when the defective vehicle was replaced, your next payment with the new car counts as payment number seven under your loan or lease.
- A refund of the purchase price: The manufacturer is required to pay back:
- The vehicle’s purchase price (not the market price, or its current value, but the purchase price you paid according to the original invoice).
- The sales tax, license and registration fees you paid.
- Damages for the cost of repairs to the vehicle.
- Damages for the loss of use, annoyance or inconvenience resulting from the defect, including rental vehicle expenses.
If you have not filed a Lemon Law claim within 6 months of the expiration of your vehicle’s express warranty period, the first 24 months of ownership, or the first 24,000 miles (whichever is earliest,) 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 Texas 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’re also not 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 to find out what you are entitled to as a consumer.