Palmdale Lemon Law Lawyer Explains Federal Lemon Law
California lemon laws can help consumers obtain refunds, replacements and compensation for damages associated with purchasing a defective new vehicle. Unfortunately, not all consumers will qualify for compensation under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, also known as the California Lemon Law. The good news is that you may have other options for holding a manufacturer accountable for your damages. Depending on the circumstances, you could hold the manufacturer accountable for breaking the warranty.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), also known collectively as the “federal lemon law”, may be an option you could use. However, like the California Lemon Law, there are requirements that you must meet to obtain compensation for your damages.
What is Covered Under the Federal Lemon Law?
Like the California Lemon Law, many types of vehicles are covered by the federal lemon law. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act applies to consumer products that contain a written warranty and that are over $10. New and certified pre-owned products may be covered by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Vehicles covered by this law include ATVs, RVs/mobile homes, cars, pickup trucks, side-by-sides and motorcycles. In addition to multiple repair attempts, you may be able to obtain a refund if you were not able to use your vehicle for 30 or more days.
There are benefits under the federal lemon law. Many state laws require you to have a “new” vehicle to obtain compensation. This is not necessarily the case with the federal lemon law.
What Compensation Can I Recover from a Federal Lemon Law Claim?
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act has a provision that requires manufacturers to pay attorneys’ fees if you win your case. Many law firms who take lemon law claims, including our own, take these types of cases with no up-front costs. You may be able to obtain a replacement or compensation for the costs you incurred from purchasing the lemon.
In addition, many cases are handled through out-of-court arbitration, but this is not always the case. The case may appear before a federal judge if the damages exceed $50,000 or there is a class-action lawsuit for the product.
Eligibility for a Federal Lemon Law Claim
The federal lemon law covers a wide range of consumer products, including motor vehicles. This law primarily deals with consumer protection rights under the warranties for these products.
Under this law, manufacturers must clearly provide consumers with the terms of product warranties. The terms of the warranty must be clear, and the manufacturer must abide by the terms.
You may be eligible for a federal lemon law claim under the following circumstances.
- A warranty is present. Otherwise, you would not be able to hold the manufacturer accountable for breaching the warranty. An implied warranty is a guarantee the vehicle will perform as it was sold, and that no significant defects are present. An express warranty covers what the manufacturer told you about the vehicle that made its way into the contract for purchasing the vehicle.
- The manufacturer is refusing to abide by the terms of the warranty. In many cases, this means the manufacturer is refusing to repair or replace parts that are covered in the warranty’s language. The federal lemon law requires manufacturers to replace or repair these parts.
- In other cases, the issue with your vehicle persists after the manufacturer made multiple repair attempts. You may be eligible for compensation if you were sold a vehicle that does not meet basic quality standards.
- The warranty did not meet the standards required by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or UCC.
Certain actions can void your vehicle’s warranty, such as failing to perform routine and necessary maintenance. For instance, if your engine fails because you did not have it serviced, the manufacturer is not liable for damages you suffer.
Certain aftermarket parts may damage your vehicle. If your vehicle’s issues were caused by aftermarket parts, then you might be unable to pursue a federal lemon law claim. Not all aftermarket parts necessarily void your warranty. However, be sure to follow the terms of your vehicle’s warranty as carefully as possible.
You should also keep any receipts or paperwork (repair orders) given to you by a dealership. Paperwork may help establish whether the dealership violated the terms of the warranty.
About Our Palmdale Lemon Law Firm
Kostas Law Firm may be able to help you obtain compensation for a defective vehicle under the California or federal lemon law. We have extensive experience with both types of cases. To set up a consultation with our Palmdale lemon law firm, call us at (661) 206-2629 or use our online contact form.