There are few things worse in life than buying a car and learning the hard way that you purchased a lemon.
The good news is that you can send a lemon letter to assert your legal rights.
What’s a Lemon Letter?
It’s a letter to the manufacturer that informs them of defects affecting the vehicle you purchased. It also includes how you want the manufacturer to remedy the situation.
Although you could technically write the letter on your own, an attorney can help you better explain the problems you’ve experienced and assert the appropriate laws on your behalf.
Just because you hire a lawyer to help you doesn’t mean that you should just go into the situation without any sort of knowledge. It’s far better that you understand the things your lawyer should include. You can look for those key elements and make sure that you’re familiar with how they are presented to the manufacturer.
What Is a Lemon Car?
Lemon Laws define a lemon car as a vehicle that is meant to be operated on public streets, roads, or highways that holds no more than 15 individuals and is a personal use vehicle.
For new cars, the vehicle had no previous owners, and the defect occurred before the end of the first year of ownership or leasing or with 12,000 miles on the odometer.
You must have a reasonable number of repairs and waited at least 30 days for repairs from an authorized dealership. There are state definitions for breach of warranty (as an alternative to classifying the car as a lemon) as well as exceptions to the law.
Components to a Well-Written Lemon Law Letter
Since the purpose of a lemon letter is to explain the car problems you’ve experienced with a vehicle that is addressed to the manufacturer, it’s important that you, the consumer, understand the components of a well-written lemon law letter.
This is important because you want the manufacturer to know your specific car complaints that qualify the vehicle as a lemon under state law.
After the opening of the lemon letter there should be seven components:
- An explanation of which state’s lemon law is invoked. This is important because not every state has such a law. Those that do may have a different legal definition for what constitutes a “lemon”
- A statement that explains how you came to possess the vehicle; the vehicle’s make, model, year, and VIN; the date you came into possession of the vehicle; the dealer and location where you purchased the vehicle
- An explanation of how many times you’ve taken the vehicle into an authorized dealer for repairs, how many calendar days you were unable to use the vehicle, and the current odometer reading
- A list of the defect or defects that were found by the authorized dealer that has prevented you from safely using the vehicle or impairing your use
- A statement that informs the manufacturer that the lemon law letter is a demand made for the manufacturer to either replace the problem component or provide a refund to you as the consumer who bought the vehicle. Because the letter is sent to the manufacturer instead of the car dealer, it’s important to state that the manufacturer has breached their express and implied warranty. An express warranty is the written warranty that you’re given when you purchased the vehicle. An implied warranty is the idea that you buy an item for a certain purpose
- State your demand to have the vehicle repaired or replaced within the statutory period provided under your state’s law lemon law
- How the manufacturer can contact you or your lawyer to further discuss the issue
The lemon letter should be sent via certified mail with a return receipt requested so that you and your lawyer know that the manufacturer received it.
Should You Use a Lemon Law Form?
As you can now see, there’s a lot of information that should be included in a lemon letter.
Is it wise to use a lemon law form online?
The Internet has provided all of us with more information and forms (both free and paid) than ever. While this has been great, you must exercise caution regarding the use of lemon law forms.
They may not fully reflect your state’s lemon law. They also may not include all of the information that a lemon law letter to a manufacturer should have. To protect your legal interests, it is best to work with a lawyer to draft a lemon letter.
Sample Lemon Law Letter to a Manufacturer
While there is no single way to draft your lemon law letter, the following is a good example of what should be included:
January 1, 2012
On September 1, 2011, I purchased a 2012 Nissan Altima from Big City Nissan. The VIN for this vehicle is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
I believe that the new Altima I purchased meets the standards for being classified as a lemon as defined by the Pennsylvania Lemon Law. I am providing this letter as a written demand for relief as provided for under Pennsylvania law.
Since purchasing the vehicle, it’s been returned for repairs at Big City Nissan, an authorized dealer, nine (9) times for repairs. During those nine times, I was without my vehicle for a total of 45 calendar days. The current odometer reading of the vehicle is 4,321 miles.
According to the authorized dealer, the defects affecting the vehicle are X, X, X, and X.
The defects of the car substantially impacted my ability to use the vehicle. The defects also rendered the vehicle unsafe for use.
According to Pennsylvania’s Automobile Lemon Law, I am entitled to the cost of repair or the refund of the cost to purchase a new vehicle.
I look forward to hearing from you soon in regards to how this situation will be resolved. You may contact me by calling XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Contact Us To Help With Your Lemon Law Demand Letter
The attorney’s at Robison Lemon Law Group have the experience you need to get results from a lemon law demand letter.
Contact us today online or by phone at (844) 386-0831 for your free consultation.