What Is The Lemon Law?

The Texas Lemon Law is a state law that helps consumers who buy or lease new motor vehicles and have repeated problems getting their vehicles properly repaired. The Lemon Law can help a consumer get the vehicle repurchased, replaced or repaired. It can be less complicated and less expensive than going to court.

The law was enacted by the Texas Legislature in 1983. A court challenge stalled enforcement of the law, but in 1985, a federal appeals court upheld its validity. In Texas, the Lemon Law is administered by the Texas Department of Transportation`s Motor Vehicle Division and its Motor Vehicle Board.

Through mediation and formal hearings allowed under the law, the Motor Vehicle Division has helped resolve many complaints. From 1988 to 1997, the division processed 12,282 complaints. In 1997, the division received 1,291 written complaints and held 182 hearings on complaints that were not resolved informally. In about half the cases heard in 1997, consumers received either replacement, repurchase or repair of their vehicles, or some other appropriate relief.

In 1991, the Legislature changed the Lemon Law to benefit more consumers. The time period for filing a complaint and the definition of a lemon were expanded, and consumers may now be reimbursed for certain incidental expenses. Now, a disclosure notice accompanying any vehicle repurchased or replaced under the Lemon Law is also required.

In 1997, the Legislature added towable recreational vehicles (TRVs) to the Lemon Law. Besides being made primarily for temporary human habitation, TRVs must:

  • be titled and registered in Texas;
  • be built on a single chassis;
  • contain one or more life support systems, and
  • be towable by another motor vehicle.

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

Search LawInfo's Lemon Law Resources

Lead Counsel Rated Law Firm

Click Here to Learn More