Frequently Asked Questions- You Have Questions We Have Answers!
Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve had over the years about Lemon Law matters and our services. If you have a question that is not answered here, or you want to talk to us in further detail about any issue, please feel free to give us a call or contact us.
Let’s get those nasty sour Lemons off the streets now!
What is the Lemon Law?
The “Lemon Law” refers to a group of state statutes that provide a remedy to consumers against manufacturers of products, including automobiles, which repeatedly fail to meet certain standards of quality and performance.
As of 1993, all fifty U.S. States have passed lemon laws. Each state has different standards and procedures, but all have similar coverage.
What are the requirements for a vehicle to be considered a Lemon under the law?
While each case is different, the most basic requirement of both State and Federal Lemon Laws is that, during the manufacturer’s warranty period, a vehicle was repaired under warranty at an authorized dealership an unreasonable number of times or for an unreasonable amount of time.
You don’t need both unreasonable repair attempts and unreasonable repair time. Just one or the other.
In our view, if your vehicle has been repaired three times for the same problem or has spent at least 30 days out of service by reason of warranty repair it should qualify as a “Lemon.”
There can be exceptions so please contact us to review your particular vehicle situation.
Which vehicles are eligible?
The Missouri Lemon Law applies to cars and the chassis and power train portions of Motor Homes (not the house portion).
Cars, trucks, RV’s, trailers, motorcycles and boats are all eligible under the Federal breach of warranty law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that applies to all warranted consumer products so even if your vehicle is not covered by the Missouri Lemon Law you may still be eligible for compensation under the Federal Lemon Law.
I think I may have a “Lemon.” What should I do?
You can legally take action if you feel you have been sold a Lemon car or consumer product.
Gathering your repair and sales records is always the first step.
If you’re not sure whether your vehicle might qualify, we encourage you to seek more information. Your repairing dealership(s) should be able to provide you with a full repair history and records, if you think you might be missing repair paperwork from previous repairs.
Just don’t mention the Lemon Law or attorneys because then the dealer might give you the run around to try and protect its business partner, the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Please know, that you are under no duty to volunteer information to the repairing dealer if you are asked why you are requesting records. That you want a complete listing of what repairs have been done to your vehicle for your own file and records is a sufficient reason for the request.
We are always happy to answer any questions regarding whether or not your vehicle qualifies at this time.
What could I be entitled to under the Lemon Law?
Under State law you can obtain a Lemon Law Refund or a New Car.
Moreover, under federal and State breach of warranty laws you can obtain Cash Compensation.
We work with all our clients to find the solution that’s right for them depending on the vehicle repair situation.
For example, if your vehicle is finally properly repaired you might be open to cash compensation depending on whether the amount offered is sufficient. If it is not then you may prefer to seek a Refund or New Replacement Car.
You are also entitled to recover attorneys’ fees under either type of resolution so we will NEVER charge you for our attorneys’ fees out of court representation.
Why should I retain your Law Firm?
By choosing us, you benefit from having your case handled by experienced Lemon Law attorneys who specialize in the Lemon Law and protecting buyers’ rights.
You will also work with a law firm which focuses its entire practice on vehicle Lemon Law cases.
We manage your case with expertise and efficiency, always focusing on a positive attorney/client-relations experience.
Isn’t it expensive for a consumer to retain an attorney?
Not for out of court representation and resolutions, which are 95% of our cases. In fact, out of court representation if FREE for you.
You might be wondering how that’s possible.
It’s possible because our legal services are provided to consumers (like you) under State and federal laws that require product and automobile manufacturers to pay for attorneys’ fees as part of the overall settlement upon the successful resolution of your claim.
If I purchased my vehicle used, can I still use the Lemon Law to get help?
As long as the vehicle was still under the original manufacturer’s warranty at the time of purchase and you have had warranty repairs, you may still qualify for a settlement under State and Federal breach of warranty laws, depending on the vehicle’s repair history.
Used vehicles are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
What if I leased my vehicle?
In many cases, leased vehicles are subject to the same warranty benefits and limitations as purchased vehicles.
However, please notify us of your lease end date, as it generally is not be possible to pursue a a breach of warranty claim if you are no longer in possession of the vehicle.
What information is important on a repair order?
Make sure the repair order accurately reflects the date you dropped off the vehicle for repair and the date you picked up the vehicle after repairs were completed.
Also make sure the repairing dealership accurately describes your complaint in your words, not the dealership’s words.
I’ve taken my vehicle in for repairs several times, but I was never given a repair order or I haven’t kept records what can I do?
You may be able to request the repair history directly from the repairing dealer. As explained above, just be sure not to mention the Lemon Law or attorneys.
Contact our office for more guidance on assembling your records if you are having any issues obtaining your repair records.
How do I get started?
All case evaluations are FREE and all information is kept strictly confidential.
How long will you take to review my records once I send them?
We will do our best to get back to you the same day if possible. It will be the next business day at the latest, guaranteed!
Do I have to pay attorneys’ fees?
There are no out of pocket attorneys’ fees charged to our clients for out of court pre-litigation representation EVER!
Attorneys’ fees are requested under the law only from your vehicle’s manufacturer as part of the overall settlement.
No attorneys’ fees are ever billed to our clients directly for out of court representation.
We only get paid if YOU GET PAID!
How is it possible that I won’t be charged for the out of court representation?
The reason there is no charge to you is because an attorneys’ fee provision was added to the law. That was done because car companies were not standing behind their products.
The legislature wanted people to have the help of attorneys so the car companies would stop taking advantage of people and would accept responsibility for poorly made products.
Most attorneys would not be willing to take on small dollar car cases because the fees charged wouldn’t make sense in many cases.
At the same time consumers would not want to pay attorneys’ fees out of pocket for a replacement car.
For all these reasons the companies are liable for attorneys’ fees under the law and we don’t have to charge you (fees are requested from the company as part of the overall settlement) and will never bill you for attorneys’ fees out of pocket for out of court representation.
What if there is only a small cash compensation settlement offer made out of court and I don’t want to go any further with my case?
If there is only a small compensation offer made out of court we will cut our fees if necessary and split it in half with you if you do not want to go to court.
Our policy is to NEVER get paid more than our clients for out of court representation, EVER!
What if my case doesn’t settle out of court, will I be charged?
No. We only get paid by the company if we get your case settled for you (a Refund, New Car, or Cash Compensation) in an out of court representation.
We will advise you about whether we believe an offer is fair and reasonable under the circumstances and regarding settlement options, but whether to settle or not is always up to you.
How much of my time will this take?
Usually very little of your time. With Amar Law Group’s efforts, most cases are resolved out of court within 1-3 months; the average is 2 months (please note however that COVID-19 restrictions have caused some delays with manufacturers we deal with).
Your main responsibility during this process will be to confer with your attorney regarding settlement offers, keep your attorney posted about any new repair issues, and provide any vehicle records the other side might request to review if we don’t already have them from you.
This will typically takes only 10-20 minutes of your time because there are no hearings to attend for our 3 Step Out of Court Process.
We know you are busy and we will do all of the heavy lifting to deal with your out of court case for you!
How much time do I have to file a claim?
This depends on the mileage of your vehicle and when it was purchased.
Under the Missouri Lemon Law you have 6 months from when the express warranty expires or within 18 months of the original delivery of the vehicle, whichever comes first, to file an action.
If you resort to an informal dispute settlement procedure, an action must be commenced within 90 days following the procedure’s final action.
The statute of limitations for Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act cases is 4 years from when the warranty expires for car cases and most RV cases (although some RV companies attempt to limit the time for bringing claims in their warranties without proper disclosure to consumers; we argue on behalf of consumers that such limitations are legally invalid, but please contact us for an in depth analysis of your specific RV situation if you are concerned about being timed out of a claim due to warranty fine print).
If you do not make a timely claim, you may lose your Lemon Law or breach of warranty rights to recovery no matter how severe your problems have been, so please do not delay in contacting us to evaluate your vehicle situation.
My vehicle is finally repaired now. Is it worthwhile do anything about it anymore?
That’s great if your vehicle is repaired (or appears to be for now).
Let us ask you though, did you expect to deal with so many repair attempts or time without your vehicle when you first bought this brand new vehicle?
Was it convenient for you to have to take it in for repairs? Was the rental/loaner (if one was even provided without a charge) the same caliber as your vehicle?
Even if it was, you have still been inconvenienced and just know that providing a rental is not a defense to a Lemon Law claim.
Do you feel after dealing with all these problems that you got the new vehicle value you paid for?
Look we understand you might like the vehicle. That’s why you bought it, but if it is truly finally properly repaired, and only time will tell on that, you should at least still get some of your money back for the inconvenience and for having overpaid for a new product that’s had repairs like a used product.
Those types of cash settlements are actually the most common and easier to negotiate because companies prefer to just say they’re sorry and to keep you as a customer by cutting you a check to make things right with you rather than reacquiring a vehicle they then have to deal with the administrative burden of labeling the car a Lemon and wholesaling it at auction for a loss.
The main point is, that the law steps in to say enough is enough once a vehicle has had too many repairs or has been in the repair shop for too long even if the vehicle is finally repaired.
Time is our most limited resource that can’t be replaced once it’s gone and you will never get the time back for dealing with these aggravating repair issues…You should at least be compensated for that.
Keep in mind the law is not punitive here. We aren’t seeking millions of dollars from the company.
It’s just about getting you the new vehicle value you deserve and that type of substantial compensation will only take 10-20 minutes of your time because we do all the heavy lifting.
So it’s up to you if you think that very short time investment that costs you nothing out of pocket in our 3 Step Out of Court process is worth potentially thousands of dollars in compensation.
Will pursuing a Lemon Law claim upset the repairing dealer I have been dealing with?
That’s a legitimate concern. What you should know though is that the Lemon Law applies to the manufacturer of a defective car, not the dealer.
The dealer does repairs on behalf of the company but it is a completely independent entity. There is no cost to the dealer under the Lemon Law.
We’ve even had cases where honest dealers recommend to their customers to look into the Lemon Law.
For RVs, Offroad Vehicles and Boats there are some instances where we have to include the selling dealership because of exclusions of Lemon law coverage for certain products and we have to use laws that directly apply to dealers to get consumers the best resolution possible.
However, vehicle manufacturers generally fully indemnify/defend dealerships for any warranty or revocation of acceptance claims for these products so we are still technically pursuing the matter against the manufacturer of the product.
If I pursue a Lemon Law claim will the dealer get mad and retaliate against me if I need future repairs?
In our experience dealers do not retaliate against consumers for Lemon Law or breach of warranty claims because the law applies to the manufacturer not the dealership and so the dealer doesn’t lose any money.
Additionally, the product warranty requires that necessary defect in materials and workmanship repairs be performed and if a dealer refuses to repair legitimate defects that would lead to breach of warranty legal penalties against the manufacturer, which is its business partner.
I think I might be able to handle this Lemon Law issue myself, why don’t I just call the car, motorcycle, or RV company on my own?
It is understandable to want to try and work things out amicably with the car, motorcycle or RV company.
What you need to know though is that the company is not necessarily looking out for your best interest.
Most companies do all they can to minimize their expenses and want to do the least amount possible to resolve Lemon Law matters. They train their representatives to sweet talk you and do nothing of substance or just to give you something minimal like a month of payment or a short warranty extension. Sometimes you’ll even be asked to sign a document relinquishing your Lemon Law rights to get that kind of tiny offer.
We have seen this happen multiple times with clients that had very strong claims entitling them to a Refund, New Car or substantially higher Cash Compensation, but there was nothing we could do to help because they unknowingly signed all of their rights away. Don’t let that happen to you!
Keep in mind, several car companies have not done safety recalls for $20-$100 parts knowing that people could be harmed or even killed. This is what you’re dealing with if you face these companies on your own.
The car, motorcycle, and RV companies also know that out of every 10 people with legitimate Lemon Law or breach of warranty cases maybe 1 or 2 out of 10 will go the extra step and hire an attorney even if they are threatening to get an attorney involved or say they have talked to one.
They know most people are leery of dealing with attorneys because of negative media impressions or negative experiences in different types of legal matters.
They also know that most consumers do not fully understand the Lemon Law resolution process and pitfalls that could hurt or even cause a claim to fail. Because of that they either offer something minimal or nothing at all.
Even in the rare cases when companies do accept responsibility and offer a buyback or replacement car, often times those offers do not include everything the consumer (like you) is entitled to recover under the law.
Finally, if you had a medical issue would you do surgery on yourself? Then why would you do the same thing with a legal issue against a multi-million or even multi-billion dollar company with legally trained representatives?
Keep in mind that car or RV company representatives for Lemon Law and breach of warranty matters are sometimes actually attorneys or at least legally trained regarding Lemon Laws and civil legal matters and this training could be used to get you to make statements or admissions that could hurt or even defeat your Lemon Law case.
Would yo go into a boxing ring or a cage match with a professionally trained boxer or MMA fighter with years of experience fighting? Probably not, so why would you even consider going into a legal negotiation with a licensed attorney or legally trained company representative that deals with Lemon Law and breach of warranty cases every day (usually for several years) for a living?!
You don’t have to go into the Lion’s Den on you own. You can have a Law Firm that has dealt with these companies (and defeated them at trial when necessary) on your side to protect your rights and to fight on your behalf to get the best deal possible for you.
The unfair and unequal bargaining position between individual consumers and these large companies with experienced attorneys or legally trained representatives is why both the State Legislature and Congress added attorneys’ fees provisions requiring that manufacturers pay attorneys’ fees for resolutions of these types of claims.
Both the Legislature and Congress wanted consumers to have a level playing field and even odds with attorneys representing their interests and not to have the cost of hiring an attorney preventing such legal assistance.
You are legally entitled to and deserve this 100% Free Legal Help and Support!
I’m very busy. Will this be too much of a hassle or time commitment for me?
That concern is understandable. We would like to reiterate though that the time investment would be very minimal.
We can handle everything over phone, email and fax and 10-30 minutes of your time could result in a refund, a new car or substantial compensation (several thousand dollars depending on the severity of the defect and repair history).
It is up to you but it would be well worth your while for the minimal time involved because worst case scenario you are out that small amount of time and have been charged nothing for the representation.
The other 95% of the time a Refund, New Car, or Cash Compensation has been obtained for you out of court for an under 30 minute time investment.
Should I try to resolve my claim through the BBB Auto Line or NCDS first?
No. The BBB Auto Line only decides to award a repurchase or replacement at arbitration 22.8% of the time and repair 12% of the time (repairs are meaningless because they are already required under warranty). [See 2009 BBB Auto Line Statistics – in its own website].
Neither the Auto Line nor the NCDS offer cash compensation.
For the vast majority of consumers, the BBB Auto Line and NCDS are just a procedural hurdles that cause delay which could effect applicable statutes of limitations.
These processes also increase the time consumers must keep their defective vehicles and forces them to continue to make payments while delaying resolution.
Finally, both the Auto Line and NCDS are paid for by car companies. Who do you think that favors?
With all that being said, you always have the option of going through the Autoline or NCDS after seeking out of court compensation through an attorney if you are not satisfied with the best offer that the company has made and do not wish to accept it.
I’ve heard negative things about attorneys. How do I know you can be trusted?
We’re not a huge fan of many attorneys ourselves. Although the media can exaggerate the negative and ignore the positive in any profession, we know that there are parts of the legal profession that are basically broken.
Lots of legal representation is costly and self serving.
Many attorneys and Firms just care about getting paid, and not necessarily about the results their clients get from the representation.
We do things differently at this Firm. We are working on becoming the Zappos of law firms where we ALWAYS put our clients first.
We understand that even in a case where we get paid less by cutting our fee, if we do right by our clients it will come back to us 10x through referrals and positive reviews.
We also seek to persuade companies that it would be in their best interests to accept responsibility for defective products, take care of their customers, and keep them with the brand long term. 95% of the time we are successful at getting companies to accept responsibility out of court with settlements that our clients are very satisfied with.
If you take a look at our Testimonials and 5 Star Reviews you’ll see how we take care of our clients.
Will I still be able to get warranty repairs during my claim or if I settle for cash compensation and keep my vehicle?
Yes, your warranty is still valid. Also, any settlement reached does not affect your right to continue to receive warranty repairs for the normal duration of your vehicle’s warranty.
Will the car be tagged a Lemon if I settle for Cash Compensation?
No. Settlement terms will not be reported in any public database or on the internet.
The car only gets tagged a Lemon if the car company reacquires it under the Lemon Law and then it is the company’s responsibility to deal with.
What happens if my claim is not resolved out of court?
If you are not happy with an out of court offer or non-offer (which only happens in 5% or less of our cases) and decide to pursue litigation, our attorneys will fight to get you the best outcome possible and will continually attempt to settle your case throughout the process.
Unlike other run of the mill firms that may not be willing to litigate (and car and RV companies know who these firms are), Amar Law Group’s attorneys have fully and successfully litigated cases through trial and in the Court of Appeals and we have a much higher winning percentage in Court than most Lemon Law firms.
Do I have to go to Court?
A very high percentage of claims (at least 95%) are resolved by Amar Law Group out of court without the need for litigation, so in most cases the answer is no.
There are a small percentage of cases where there is a non-offer or unfair offer made. When necessary, our Firm litigates cases on behalf of consumers and we are always willing to take valid claims to court.
With that being said, if a claim is not resolved out of court because the maximum offer made is insufficient, you are under no obligation to proceed to court if you do not wish to (although most of the 5% of our clients who are not satisfied with an out of court proposal do decide to litigate and most of those cases are resolved successfully by us for higher compensation to them, and for the few case that go all the way to arbitration or trial we have a much higher winning percentage than the vast majority of Lemon Law attorneys).
Nonetheless, if you do not wish to litigate, you have the option to end the representation out of court without owing any attorneys’ fees.
Do I have to pay attorneys’ fees if I pursue litigation?
If you decide to pursue litigation in court and prevail, an attorneys’ fee petition is filed with the court on your behalf for payment of attorneys’ fees.
If the full attorneys’ fees are not awarded by the judge, the outstanding fees are paid from the total recovery.
If you comply with the representation agreement, but unfortunately do not win the case, then no attorneys’ fees will be owed in the vast majority of cases.
The are a few limited circumstances where a client would need to be charged attorneys’ fees for litigation representation. Please call us for details.
What other costs are there in litigation?
Most cases (95%+) are resolved out of court without any need for court filing costs or any other types of costs.
If you decide to pursue litigation by filing a court complaint, the filing and service of process fees are the responsibility of the client.
There may also be other costs associated with prosecuting your case depending on how far it goes, like deposition transcripts and/or expert fees.
It is our goal to resolve your case as quickly as possible and to limit costs only incurring costs if they are absolutely necessary to prosecute your claim.
Will I have to go to trial if I file a lawsuit?
Going to trial even if you file a lawsuit is very rare.
Often times, there are many opportunities to settle a case before filing a formal complaint in court and even after a complaint is filed, there are additional opportunities to obtain recovery through settlement before going to trial.
Ultimately, if the matter is not resolved because the sides are too far apart on settlement, it may have to be decided at trial.
We have a winning record at trial and will do our utmost to prepare you for such an eventuality if at all necessary.
Who are the major manufacturers?
General Motors (Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac), Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, FCA US LLC (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, Alfa Romeo), Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Lexus, Infiniti, Tesla, Audi, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Harley-Davidson, Four Winds, Monaco, Winnebago, Fleetwood, Coachmen, Forest River, Tiffin, Keystone (this list is not exhaustive).
What are some of the major defects and conditions?
Engine, transmission, suspension, tires, brakes, electrical system, air conditioning, ignition, steering, non-starting, dying in transit, stalling, vibration, computer modules, interior trim components, exterior trim components (this list is not exhaustive).
*The above FAQs and answers are for informational/educational purposes and are not legal advice. Please contact Amar Law Group for additional pertinent information and details about your rights.