Every state across America has a lemon law which protect consumers who unknowingly buy bad cars. Nearly 150,000 cars sold in the United States every year are “lemons:” vehicles built with repeated, unfixable problems. Every auto manufacturer builds lemons, including Toyota, Ford, Honda and many more. Manufacturers may recall some lemons if they find their problems to be widespread.
Joining state lemon laws in protecting consumers is the federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. The federal Act provides protection for consumers who purchase cars that are having problems under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Florida’s lemon law, the Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, lets victorious plaintiffs recover attorney’s fees after winning in court.
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Florida state statutes say a consumer’s recovery shall include not only the awarded value but “attorney’s fees incurred in obtaining confirmation of the award, and all costs and continuing damages in the amount of $25 per day for each day beyond the 40-day period following a manufacturer’s receipt of the arbitrator’s decision.”
The statute further states if the court determines the manufacturer acted in bad faith appealing an arbitrator’s decision, the court will double or possibly triple the total award amount.
Those filing a complaint using Florida’s lemon law must undergo arbitration before the law’s repurchase or replacement provisions apply. While arbitration can be faster and less formal than a filed civil lawsuit, it has a number of downsides and rarely resolves favorably for the consumer.
The Magnuson Moss Act, regardless of the state in which a claim is filed, provides that the vehicle manufacturer shall pay the claimants’ attorneys’ fees if the claimant prevails against the manufacturer. Lemon law attorneys prosecute cases knowing they can recoup their costs after winning in court. This means the consumer doesn’t directly pay out of pocket for legal representation. The Act supersedes any state law and can be pursued even if the state lemon law’s technical requirements are not met.
The legal system is complex and can be nearly impenetrable for the average person. An attorney acts as both their client’s advocate and guide through the legal system, using their knowledge of the law’s technicalities and pitfalls to lead clients to an acceptable resolution.
If your car has problems the manufacturer can’t or won’t fix, reach out to a qualified lemon law attorney at once. They have the experience and expertise needed to get you the justice you deserve.