What Are My Options For Action Under The Lemon Law?

If the manufacturer does not repair the defect, or if the repairs are unsuccessful, you have the following options:

    Arbitration :Arbitration is an informal process that consumers may use to obtain speedy resolution of a warranty dispute without having to go to court, and it is legally binding on the manufacturer only. At an arbitration hearing, the seller and buyer testify before an impartial arbitrator about the condition of the vehicle. There are two types of arbitration for new cars:
    1. State­run arbitration: In order for you to seek a refund or replacement under the Lemon Law, AND before you may file a lawsuit against the manufacturer using the Lemon Law, you must use the state`s informal dispute settlement procedure, by taking the following steps:

      Contact the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to receive a claim form, which you need to complete and return to the Board of Consumer Claims Arbitration.

      Within 5 days of receipt of your claim, the Board will notify you as to whether or not your claim qualifies for arbitration. If it does, they will also notify the manufacturer at this time.

      The Board will then appoint a time and place for your hearing—usually within 60 days of receipt of your claim. They will notify you of this date no less than five days ahead of time.

      Although less formal than a court hearing, at the arbitration hearing you and the manufacturer will be able to present oral and written testimony, witnesses, and other evidence, as well as to cross­examine the opposing sides` witnesses. Both sides are entitled to be represented by attorneys.

      After the Board`s decision on your case, either side does have the right to petition for an appeal.

    2. Manufacturr­sponsored Arbitration: You can find out if the manufacturer of your vehicle sponsors an arbitration program by reading the information accompanying your warranties or by asking your dealer for information.

    Court Action: If the state Board of Consumer Claims Arbitration rejects your case for arbitration, or if you reject the decision of the state­ or manufacturer­sponsored arbitration programs, your other option is going to court. If you do seek court action, you should consult an attorney.

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.

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