Tax season has officially begun, and many consumers are waiting for their refund checks for a down payment on a new car. But what happens when that car is a dud? Florida Statute 681, also known as the “Lemon Law,” protects consumers who have purchased a new or demonstrator vehicle. But the law is not all-inclusive, and it is essential to know what responsibilities you and the dealership have to make it work.
- Must be a NEW vehicle that purchased in the state of Florida
- Recreational Vehicles that are capable of driving under their power
- Must have been purchased in the last 24 months
- Must have been used for personal, family or household use
- Covers defects that substantially diminish the use of the vehicle
- The manufacturer must be notified within the first 24 months of original purchase
VEHICLES NOT COVERED
- Commercially owned vehicles
- Vehicles that have exceeded the 24-month timeframe from the original purchase.
- Towed recreational vehicles or “fifth-wheels.”
It is essential that you carefully read your purchase or leasing contract that you signed with your auto dealer. Your contract may contain a clause that provides for a state-certified informal dispute settlement program. If this settlement program is outlined in writing, you must first attempt the informal dispute settlement program. This information should be found in the vehicle’s warranty booklet or owner’s manual.
Under the Lemon Law, a manufacturer has the opportunity to correct the defect in a reasonable amount of time or attempts. If unsuccessful, the Lemon Law provides a remedy for consumers, which are subject to strict procedural and time limits.
While it is possible to pursue a Lemon Law claim yourself, it is tough to maintain an accurate record of communication and deadlines between you and the manufacturer. This process becomes even more complicated if the defective vehicle is an RV.
The Law Office of Massey & Duffy, PLLC has extensive experience in Lemon Law claims. If you have a defective vehicle and feel the Florida Lemon Law covers you, contact our office at (352) 505-8900 to schedule a consultation with one of our Consumer Law attorneys.