What Happens After The Arbitration?

  • Receive decision by certified mail. The arbitrator`s decision must be issued within 45 days after initiation of your case by the Administrator (unless an extension of time was agreed upon by both parties.) It will be mailed to you by certified mail. If you chose non­binding arbitration and lost, you must decide whether you will appeal. You may need to consult an attorney.
  • If you get a refund, it may include any collateral or incidental charges which you presented to the arbitrator. However, a Reasonable Mileage Offset* will be deducted using the formula provided by law. (See Sample Refund Calculator to get a general idea of what you can expect.)
  • If you get a replacement car, this is supposed to be a comparable car—a car identical or reasonably equivalent to the car to be replaced, as it existed at the time of original acquisition. You must pay the reasonable mileage offset as provided by law. At times, a comparable replacement car cannot be agreed upon. If this is so, your arbitrator may award you a refund instead of a replacement car.
  • Deadline for compliance. Generally, the deadline for compliance is within thirty (30) days from receipt of the decision. Usually, the manufacturer will contact you to arrange for the return of your car in exchange for the refund or replacement car (depending on what is awarded). If the manufacturer does not comply on a timely basis, you may need to consult with an attorney to find out how to enforce compliance with the decision in court.

* Reasonable Mileage Offset for use means the number of miles attributable to the consumer up to the date of the third repair attempt or the date of the first repair attempt for a serious safety defect, or the date of the 30th cumulative business day when the car is out of service by reason of repair, whichever occurs first. The reasonable offset for use is one percent of the purchase price for every thousand miles of use.

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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