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How to Know If My Newly Purchased Car Can Be Considered a Lemon by Florida Lemon Law Standards

by | Jun 21, 2024 | how to sell your car, Marketing Planning, offermore | 0 comments

*Disclaimer: We are OfferMORE are not lawyers or legal reps.  This article is based on data we were able to compile online however this information is subject to change, and we do not guarantee the validity of the information at any time.  Please consult with a lawyer if you intend to utilize the Florida Lemon Law to help with your situation.

For more on the lemon law direct from the Florida state government, visit this page.

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: you buy a shiny new car, brimming with excitement, only to find out that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. The engine sputters, the brakes squeal, and every trip to the mechanic feels like another brick in the wall of frustration. You’re not alone. Many car buyers in Florida, have faced this situation, and it can feel like you’re stuck with a bad deal. But here’s the good news: you have rights, and there are laws in place to protect you. At OffereMORE, with over three decades in the car business, we’ve seen it all and helped countless customers navigate these murky waters. In this article, you’ll learn how to determine if your car is a lemon under Florida law and what steps you can take to rectify the situation.

Understanding the Florida Lemon Law

First, let’s demystify the Florida Lemon Law. This law is designed to protect consumers who purchase new vehicles that fail to meet quality and performance standards. In simple terms, a “lemon” is a car that has significant defects that affect its safety, value, or utility and cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts.

Definition of a Lemon

Under Florida law, a car is considered a lemon if it meets the following criteria:

  • The vehicle has a defect or condition that substantially impairs its use, value, or safety.
  • The defect is not repaired after a reasonable number of attempts by the manufacturer or its authorized dealer.
  • The car is out of service for repair for a cumulative total of 30 or more days.

Key Criteria

For a vehicle to qualify as a lemon, it must primarily be used for personal, family, or household purposes. Additionally, the issues must occur within the first 24 months after the purchase or the first 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. If these conditions are met, the car buyer may be eligible for a refund or replacement.

Signs Your Car Might Be a Lemon

So, how do you know if your car is a lemon? Here are some common signs and issues to watch for:

Common Issues

  1. Repeated Mechanical Failures: If your car breaks down frequently and the same problem persists despite multiple repairs, this is a red flag.
  2. Safety Concerns: Issues with the brakes, steering, or other critical systems that compromise your safety are significant indicators.
  3. Electrical Problems: Persistent issues with the car’s electrical systems, such as lights, power windows, or the infotainment system, can also qualify.
  4. Transmission Troubles: Difficulty shifting gears, unusual noises, or the car refusing to go into gear are signs of serious problems.

Examples of Substantial Defects

  • Engine Issues: Continual stalling, overheating, or failure to start.
  • Brake Failures: Repeated problems with the brake system that affect the car’s stopping ability.
  • Steering Problems: Difficulty controlling the direction of the car or issues with the power steering.

Steps to Take if You Suspect Your Car is a Lemon

If you think your car might be a lemon, it’s crucial to take the following steps to protect your rights:

Document the Issues

Keep detailed records of all the problems you encounter with your car. Note the date, time, and nature of each issue, and how it impacts the vehicle’s performance.

Contact the Manufacturer or Dealer

Report the issues to the manufacturer or the authorized dealer as soon as possible. Make sure to follow up in writing and keep copies of all correspondence.

Keep Records of Repairs and Communications

Save all repair orders, receipts, and any written communication with the manufacturer or dealer. These documents will be essential if you need to pursue a claim under the lemon law.

Your Rights and Protections Under the Law

Knowing your rights is half the battle. Here’s what you need to understand about your protections under Florida’s lemon law:

Consumer Rights

If your car is deemed a lemon, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle. The refund should cover the full purchase price, including all collateral charges such as sales tax, registration fees, and finance charges. Alternatively, the manufacturer can replace your car with a comparable new one.

The Legal Process and Timelines

Once you’ve reported the issues and the manufacturer or dealer has had a reasonable number of attempts to repair the car, you can file a lemon law claim. The manufacturer has 10 days to respond after receiving your notification. If they fail to resolve the issue, you can request a hearing with the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board.

Potential Outcomes and Resolutions

So, what happens if your car is confirmed as a lemon? Here are the potential outcomes:

Refund

You may receive a refund for the full purchase price of the car, minus a reasonable allowance for use. This allowance is calculated based on the mileage at the time you first reported the defect.

Replacement

Alternatively, the manufacturer may offer to replace your car with a new, comparable vehicle. This option is often quicker and may be preferable for those who need a reliable vehicle immediately.

 

How OffereMORE Can Assist You

Navigating the lemon law process can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. OffereMORE offers a range of services to support consumers dealing with lemon vehicles:

Expert Guidance

With over 30 years of experience in the car business, we understand the intricacies of the lemon law and can provide expert advice tailored to your situation.

Assistance with Documentation

We can help you keep track of all necessary documentation, ensuring you have a solid case if you need to pursue a claim.

Liaison with Manufacturers

Our team can communicate with the manufacturer on your behalf, helping to expedite the resolution process and reduce your stress.

Legal Resources

If needed, we can connect you with reputable attorneys who specialize in lemon law cases, ensuring you have the best possible representation.

Conclusion

Dealing with a lemon car can be incredibly frustrating, but remember, you have rights and options. By understanding the Florida Lemon Law and following the necessary steps, you can protect yourself and seek a fair resolution. At OffereMORE, we’re here to help you every step of the way. If you suspect your newly purchased car might be a lemon, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. Together, we can turn a sour situation into a satisfactory resolution, ensuring you get the reliable vehicle you deserve.

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