How Do I Prepare For Arbitration?
Contact the manufacturer and request any technical service bulletins that might relate to your vehicle problem. Contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh St. S.W. Washington, D.C. 20590 Auto Safety Hotline at (800) 4249393 for any safety recall information. Find out if there have been similar problems reported that indicate a pattern of problems with your model vehicle.
You may also contact Autofax at (800) 7774481 for information on problems inherent to your vehicle. Autofax sells two types of reports (currently $20 each): 1) summaries of recalls and manufacturer service bulletins; and 2) summaries of consumer complaints directed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.To help validate the problem, especially if it is intermittent, submit singed statements or affidavits from certified mechanics and individuals who have ridden in your vehicle and experienced the problem (for example, family or carpool members).
Record and summarize warranty repairs in chronological order. Focus on recurring problem(s) that affect the sue, value or safety of the vehicle. Do not list service orders which reflect only scheduled maintenance work.Make copies of the purchase order and finance/lease agreement, all repair and service orders, correspondence between you and the dealer or manufacturer, and any other documents such as signed statements that might help support your case. Do not use a highlighter pen on repair orders because it will blacken highlighted information when repair orders are copied.
Apply for arbitration:
Fill out and file an arbitration application, clearly stating what the problem is and what result you seek from arbitration. You may find an application in the materials inside your glove box or obtain one by calling the appropriate arbitration program.
Practice your presentation:
If you have an oral hearing, organize and write down the main points of your argument, emphasizing those problems which substantially reduce the use, value or safety of the vehicle. Minor adjustments are necessary to most new vehicles and mentioning insignificant problems will divert attention from your main concerns. Rehearse your presentation.
Remember that arbitrators, in reaching a decision, generally consider only those problems which have not been repaired. If the manufacturer has repaired some problems so that the vehicle conforms to the terms of the warranty, the arbitrators generally will not grant an award to the buyer for such concerns. Accordingly, focus on those problems which the dealer or manufacturer has not satisfactorily repaired and state clearly what relief you seek from the arbitrators.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
Additional Lemon Law Articles
- What Vehicles Are Covered Under The Lemon Law?
- Am I Required To Go Through Arbitration Before Pursuing A Lemon Law Claim?
- Am I Required To Notify The Vehicle Manufacturer And Give Them A Opportunity To Repair A Problem Before Pursuing A Lemon Law Cla
- Does The Lemon Law Apply To Vehicles That Are Older Than One Or Two Years?
- Does The Lemon Law Apply To Vehicle That Have In Excess Of 12,000 Miles, Or 12 Months?
- Is There A Specific Number Of Repair Attempts That Must Be Completed In Order To Have A Valid Lemon Law Claim?
- Does The Lemon Law Apply Only To Passenger Cars?
- Does The Lemon Law Apply To Vehicles That Are Purchased Used?
- Does The Lemon Law Apply To Minor Defects, Or Only Significant Defects?
- What Am I Entitled To Under The California Lemon Law?
- California Certified Arbitration Programs
- What If My Problem Does Not Fit The Requirements Of My State's Lemon Law?
- Where Can I Get More Information?