Orlando Lemon Law Attorneys

My Practice is Dedicated to You and Your Most Valuable Assets

Few things are more frustrating than spending your hard-earned money on a “lemon”. The only thing more frustrating than buying a lemon, is trying to convince the manufacturer to buy it back.

Since the beginning of my practice over 20 years ago, I have made it a priority to assist people who are having problems getting the manufacturer of their car or truck to take back that lemon. After your home, your car or truck is probably your most valuable asset. A large part of each paycheck goes to pay for your car or truck, which you depend on to earn that paycheck. When you decided to purchase your vehicle, one of the primary determining factors in your decision was the vehicle’s reliability. If it isn’t reliable, you may be unable to eat or pay your mortgage or rent.

Florida’s Lemon Law

Florida Statutes Chapter 681 establishes Florida’s “Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act,” otherwise known as Florida’s “Lemon Law”. The purpose of Florida’s Lemon Law is simple. If your vehicle manufacturer can’t fix the problem, the manufacturer must either refund the purchase price or provide a suitable replacement vehicle.

The Lemon Law applies to new and leased vehicles. It applies to you if you purchased or leased the vehicle, and if you purchased it from another person during the “Lemon Law Rights period”. Your “Lemon Law Rights period” ends two years after the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle. A problem is covered if it is “first reported” to the manufacturer during the two-year Lemon Law Rights period. However, in order to have a claim, certain stringent time limits must be met. These are critical time restraints and if you miss them you will not be able to pursue your Lemon Law case.

Because these time restraints are so stringent, I have set them out step-by-step below:

  • You must first report the problem to the manufacturer or their authorized service agent on or before 2 years from the date of original delivery.
  • You must allow the manufacturer or their authorized service agent at least 3 repair attempts of the same problem, or your vehicle must be out of service for at least 15 cumulative calendar days for various problems.
  • Then you must mail the vehicle manufacturer – by registered or express mail, return receipt requested – the Motor Vehicle Defect Notification form. You can find one of these forms in your Lemon Law Handbook provided at the time of lease or purchase. You can also download a Motor Vehicle Defect Notification form here.
  • After sending in the Motor Vehicle Defect Notification, you must give the manufacturer a final attempt to repair/inspect the vehicle.They might ignore you, but you have to give them the opportunity.
  • If you are still dissatisfied with the condition of your vehicle, you must ask to participate in a “Dispute Resolution Program” as follows:
    • If Manufacturer offers a State Certified Arbitration Procedure –
      • You must request to participate in the Manufacturers Certified Procedure.You must make this request before the expiration of 2 years and 60 days after original delivery of vehicle.
      • If you are unhappy with the results of the Manufacturers Certified Procedure, you must request Arbitration with the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Consumer Affairs within 30 days of the decision from the Manufacturers Certified Procedure. You can download a Request for Arbitration form by clicking here.
    • If the Manufacturer does not offer a State Certified Arbitration Procedure – You must request Arbitration from theFlorida Department of Agriculture, Division of Consumer Affairs before expiration of 2 years and 60 days after original delivery of vehicle. You can download a Request for Arbitration form by clicking here.
  • If your request for Arbitration with the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Consumer Affairs is rejected or if you are unhappy with the results of the Arbitration, then you must file a lawsuit in Circuit Court within 30 days of the decision from the Division of Consumer Affairs.
  • If you won the Manufacturers Certified Procedure or the Arbitration, but you do not believe the manufacturer has complied with the findings, then you must file a lawsuit within one year of the ruling from the Manufacturers Certified Procedure or Arbitration.

Is my vehicle eligible for Florida’s Lemon Law?

As a quick reference, if you answer “yes” to the following five questions, your vehicle may be eligible for Florida’s Lemon Law:

  • Did you purchase or lease your vehicle new or as a demonstration vehicle in the State of Florida? (Florida’s Lemon Law only applies to vehicles purchased for “personal use,” not commercial use.)
  • Does your vehicle have a problem that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle?
  • Have you taken your vehicle to the dealership or authorized service agent at least three times for the same substantial problem? Or has your vehicle been out of service for at least 15 cumulative calendar days due to one or more substantial defects or conditions?
  • Have you mailed by registered or express mail, return receipt requested, to the manufacturer of your vehicle the Motor Vehicle Defect Notification form located in your Lemon Law Handbook provided at the time of lease or purchase? You can download a Motor Vehicle Defect Notification form here. This form should not be mailed in until you have given the dealer or authorized service agent at least three attempts to resolve the problem, or until the vehicle has been out of service at least 15 cumulative days (See Step 3 above).
  • Have you allowed the manufacturer to make a final repair attempt or inspection after the manufacturer receives the Motor Vehicle Defect Notification form?

It is critically important that you keep all work orders and all documents received from the people doing the repairs. If you don’t have copies, go back to the dealer and ask for them. This evidence will become very important later, and I don’t want it to “disappear” once I get involved.

How I Get Paid

It’s simple. If you hire me to help present the arbitration I charge a small flat fee. (You want to make sure that you win the arbitration because the results of the arbitration are admissible as evidence in any later lawsuits!) If I file a lawsuit and win, the manufacturer typically has to pay my fees and costs.

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