Lemon Law Firms are not All Created Equal

Thanks to the world wide web, anyone can promote their services on-line through systems like google adwords. This enables law firms to target specific terms and pay to appear under these terms. There is no filter. There currently is no law against doing so. The disturbing fact is that folks can write anything in their ads that they want – there is no control or protocol. Law firms can tell prospective clients they have 20 years experience in a particular state like Pennsylvania where they have not. While we think this is poor form, we don’t necessarily fault them, they’re trying to make some money. It does mean however, that you may not be getting the service you expect so you need to know who you are hiring.

When hiring a lemon law attorney, it is very important that you ask questions and not rely solely on self-promoting advertisements and websites. Here are some items you should always consider:

Experience – How long has the company been around for?

Honors, Awards and Recognition – Has the company or lawyers received accolades for their service?

Locations – Beware of the fake office! Very few Lemon Law firms have physical offices in other states, but many of them say they do. Try calling the local phone number or stopping by sometime.

Unfortunately, firms sometimes buy “addresses” to look more established and gain new business. We know of one firm that has no offices in many of the states they claim to practice in. If you see a little asterisk explaining that these are “of counsel” locations, it means they are not directly owned or operated by the law firm. Be as wary of the “of counsel” lawyer as you would be of the “of counsel” surgeon. Limited knowledge and lack of experience is often the hallmark of such arrangements and that could detrimentally affect your case.

Credibility – In many states, lawyers are not permitted to use the terms “expert”, “specialist”, or “premier” in advertising because it gives the public an impression that cannot be verified by objective proof. Sadly, the rules are not always enforced and some firms use them anyway. Rather than accepting the self-promoting tag lines of a law firm, look around and see what community leaders, legislators and the media say.

Former Clients – see if there are testimonials or even blogs from previous clients.

Need more Information? Here are some questions you need to ask a lemon law firm:

– How long has the lawyer been practicing law?
– How long has the lawyer practiced Lemon Law?
– Does the lawyer have a license to practice in the client’s state? (Very important)
– Has the lawyer received any recognition, honors or awards for work performed in the client’s state?
– Has a successful verdict the lawyer tried ever been reported in a legal case reporter? If so, identify the case.
– When was the last time the lawyer received a successful verdict in a Lemon Law case?
– Can the lawyer provide any references of other clients, attorneys, or judges in the client’s state? – If my case cannot be resolved right away, and a lawsuit is necessary, where would it be filed and why?
– How is the lawyer compensated?
– Is the client advised in writing at the start of the case what their rights and responsibilities are? – Is a mechanical expert utilized by the law firm to help prove the case, and if so, is his/her involvement free to the client? (We have four ASE-certified experts on staff)
– What does the client need to do to assist the lawyer in a case?
– Does the lawyer have a physical office within the client’s state?
– Is a lawyer and/or their staff available to speak with clients on a daily basis?

Authors Michael Sacks and Paul Fleming represent Kimmel & Silverman who have been providing cost-free, quality legal representation to distressed consumers of “lemon” cars since 1991. Contact them at www.lemonlaw.com/mail.html or visit their website at www.lemonlaw.com.

What is the Magnuson-Moss Act?

The Magnuson-Moss Act is also known as the “Federal Lemon Law”. It is a very broad law that covers many types of products. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers who purchase any product that costs over $25 and comes with a written warranty. This can include an item as small as a radio, and an item as large as an RV. The other caveat to the Magnuson Moss Act is that the product must be solely for personal use, such as a Television or the vehicle that you drive to work. The Act does not apply to Commercial Use products, such as a roofer’s work truck or the professional landscaper’s lawnmower. If your personal use product suffered a substantial defect while under the original manufacturer’s warranty, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is similar to many states’ Lemon Laws in many regards. I practice law in Pennsylvania, so I can say that it is very similar to the Pennsylvania Lemon Law. The Magnuson Moss Act provides for a free replacement of the defective product or a full refund of the purchase price, and further provides for recovery of all associated costs including Attorney fees. If the purchaser can show that the product suffered a substantial defect or non-conformity during the warranty period, and the manufacturer was unable to remedy that defect after a reasonable number of attempts, (in Pennsylvania, the number is three (3)) the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act will provide the choice of the aforementioned relief to the purchaser. The Magnuson-Moss Act is an act that was designed to ensure that manufacturers (of any product) who offer a written warranty on that product abide by and honor the terms of any warranty that they give. In practice, Lemon Law Attorneys have used this Act very successfully in Pennsylvania to protect purchasers of defective cars, trucks, vans, SUV’s, motorcycles and RV’s. If your vehicle has suffered a defect while still under the original manufacturer’s warranty, you may be entitled to a full refund or free replacement, plus free legal representation.

Greg Artim is an Attorney based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He handles Lemon Law and Breach of Warranty matters in all of Pennsylvania. Visit his website at http://www.pittsburghlemonlaw.com

State Lemon Laws – The Common Ground

Every state in America has its own state lemon law to protect car owners from defective motor vehicles. The specifics of state lemon laws vary from state to state, but they all have the same purpose, and there are several areas of similarity. 1. State lemon laws begin with the explanation of a lemon. Specific conditions are listed that would determine whether a defective vehicle is actually a lemon or not. Typically, a lemon is any motor vehicle that has been purchased by the consumer, found to be substandard in some way, and has been repeatedly and unsuccessfully repaired.

2. State lemon laws allow car makers to try getting the vehicle to work again for a few times before officially considering a vehicle a lemon. However, the actual number differs with each state lemon law.

3. State lemon laws put the burden of repair costs on the manufacturer. All state lemon laws liberate consumers of the expenses of repairs, if the malfunction is brought to light within a specific period of time. Typically, this window lasts up to 24 months from the date of purchase, or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Some state lemon laws also take into consideration the manufacturer’s original warranty, but some state lemon laws allow the consumer to receive free restorations even if they did not purchase the extended warranty.

4. The period of filing for claims varies with each state lemon law. Some state lemon laws allow an extended period of up to 5 years for filing, while others require the car owner to file within the warranty period.

5. All state lemon laws grant consumers a replacement automobile or a reimbursement, following certain criteria. State lemon laws will oblige the manufacturer to grant a replacement vehicle or reimburse the consumer’s money, once certain criteria are met. However, there are different criteria involved with every state lemon law, and you must consult your own state’s lemon law for clarity.

Most state lemon laws entitle the consumer to a replacement or refund after 4 unsuccessful attempts to eliminate the defect.

As for the refunds, there are some state lemon laws that award a full money-back benefit to the consumer, but the majority of state lemon laws take into consideration the owner’s mileage in computing the repayment. Each state lemon law has a different computation for this refund reduction, and you must check with your particular state lemon law to be sure.

6. Only about 50% of state lemon laws charge legal bills to the manufacturer. But perhaps more state lemon laws should include this clause, because there are significantly more cases won in those areas.

You can also find more info on Lemon Laws and Automobile Lemon Laws. Knowlemonlaw.com is a comprehensive resource to know about Lemon Law.

What Is Lemon Law

The definition of Lemon Law is when a car that gives you grave problems right after you buy it. The defect must be extensive and must occur within a certain time or mileage period, usually 12,000 miles or one year. Usually People get the option of getting a refund or a replacement vehicle for a lemon, but they might have to go to arbitration or court to exercise this option.

Lemon Law refers to the statement from the government which is created to protect clients or customers from defects in automobile. An automobile that has manufacturing defect(s) or requires constant repairs after purchase and if the automobile is under the period of warranty, then the vehicle is termed as a lemon.

If any vehicle such as a car is under warranty period and is suffering from a range of faults that prevent a user to use the vehicle effectively then Lemon law act or the Magnuson Moss Act comes into force.

Lemon law can be enforced on any vehicle be it car, truck, van, SUV, motorcycle, boat or computer, etc. If any of these consumer durables is found to be defective then the consumer is entitled for either money back, replacement or a cash settlement. The law can be consulted with a Lemon law attorney as various states have different lemon laws. Some states have a lemon law for only the automobiles but some also include other consumer durables.

A dealer or manufacturer should have made number of attempts to repair the vehicle before being declared as lemon. Usually three or more attempts in row over a short period of time are required for any vehicle to be termed as lemon. Lemon law is also valid to vehicles that have been resold and are still under warranty.

To make certain whether a vehicle is a lemon or not one should study certain conditions of the vehicle before pursuing a lemon law suit. A vehicle should exhibit some serious defect or some abnormal condition. Number of attempts for repair should also be taken into account before preparing a lemon law suit. A written notice should also be issued to the manufacturer prior to a lemon law suit.

A vehicle that has been bought back by the manufacturer from the customer is known as a Lemon Buy Back. They are then often sold in auctions as used cars by the manufacturers.

The Lemon law enforced for protecting consumers from the lemon vehicles is Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This lemon law states that any advertised guarantee should explicitly state relevant information about a warranty. This law ensures that any warranty for goods above $15 should be clearly expressed on the goods and should be clear and easy to understand. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty act enables a consumer to bring suit to any manufacturer, supplier, warrantor, or service contractor for any defective piece of good or services.

Ibrahim Machiwala is a successful writer and publisher of Stock Exchange and legal issues, for more informative articles on Lemon Law, he has written many articles on trade, business, forex, and payment processing

Lemon Laws

Lemon laws are made by United States state laws to help car consumers whose cars repeatedly fail to meet certain standards of quality and performance. The position of such cars is called lemons. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or federal lemon law protects every one of all states and they vary by state. Lemon law may not cover used or leased cars. The Lemon law rights managed to consumers may go beyond the warranties expressed in purchase contracts. Lemon law is just a common nickname for these laws buy every state have their own different names for such laws and acts.

In California, anything mechanical is covered by lemon laws as well as the federal lemon laws. The federal lemon law provides that the warranter may be obligated to pay attorney fees if he is involved in a lemon law suit.

Used car purchases:
If anyone purchased a used car then there are two situations where he is qualified for cash or other lemon law benefits:

Situation #1: One may be entitled to compensation for breach of warranty if he had one of the following Warranties:

a) Any warranty left from the manufacturer when you purchased your vehicle (for example, almost all vehicles sold with less than 36,000 miles will have this. But if the warranty is longer, you may have even more time).
b) The vehicle was “Certified” by the Manufacturer (in which case it came with a short Manufacturer’s Warranty, typically 1 year).
c) He purchased an Extended Warranty backed by the Manufacturer (typically 5 years or longer).

Normally, these types of cases fall outside the scope of the state lemon law but are covered under special federal lemon laws.

Situation #2: When No Manufacturer’s Warranty Exists. If he does not have a manufacturer’s warranty of any kind he may be entitled to compensation for violations of consumer protection laws that fall outside of the lemon laws. The following is a list of some of the problems and/or issues which may be present in your vehicle. Your vehicle may be/have a:

Laundered Lemon;
Previously salvaged or wrecked;
Fraudulently rolled back odometer;
Rental car, police car, taxi, etc.;
Stolen, stripped and rebuilt; and/or
Involved in a flood.

Since Lemon Laws vary from state to state so accurate information on the scope and restrictions of Lemon Laws in a particular state can be obtained from an attorney practicing in that state.

“As is” purchases:
If a person knowingly purchase a car in “as is” condition then he accepts the defects and void his rights under the lemon law.

Other lemon laws:
Lemon laws are not limited to cars. There are RV lemon laws, boat lemon laws, motorcycle, wheelchair and computer lemon laws.

If you have a defective Motorcycle, Motor Home, used car, leased car, or a car used for business purposes and your State Lemon Law does not cover these vehicles, you still have other recourses such as the Uniform Commercial Code and the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (providing you were given a written warranty).

Ibrahim Machiwala is a successful writer and publisher of Stock Exchange and legal issues, for more informative articles on Lemon Law.


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Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, and Arkansas Lemon Laws

Alabama has very liberal lemon laws. They cover any vehicles used on public highways, excludes vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Lemon laws cover the vehicle if it took 3 attempts to fix the problem or more than 30 calendar days to fix the problem. Statute of limitations listed in Section 8-20A-6 runs out after one year or 12,000 miles. Alaskan lemon laws are very similar to Alabama. They cover four-wheel vehicles that are used for personal, family or household purposes all of which must require registration. The Alaska lemon laws do not cover tractors, farm vehicles, motorcycles, or off-road vehicles. Vehicle is covered after 3 repair attempts or 30 business days in a shop. Section 45.45.305 discusses the express warranty. Alaska lemon laws cover cars during the express warranty or one year from purchase.

Arizona has some of the most conservative lemon laws. It only covers vehicles under 10,000 pounds, used only for personal transport. Arizona lemon laws allow for 4 repair attempts or 30 calendar days out of service as mentioned in section 44-1264. Arizona cars are allowed 2 years or 24,000 miles as a period in which it can be classified as a lemon.

Arkansas is more like Arizona in with its lemon laws.They do not cover the living areas of mobile homes and RVs, and vehicle over 10,000 pounds, nor does it cover motorcycles or mopeds. All other personal transport vehicles are covered. A vehicle in Arkansas can be considered a lemon after 1 repair attempt if the defect may have caused death or serious injury. After 3 repair attempts (Or 30 calendar days out of service, or 5 repair attempts on separate occasions to repair any non conformities that together impair the use and value of the vehicle) the car can be considered a lemon as well. After 2 years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes last) you may no longer seek a refund for a lemon as listed in section 4-90-403, 12-B.

Steve Gargin owns an operates http://www.lemon-laws-helper.com.


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Does Pennsylvania have a Motorcycle Lemon Law?

Pennsylvania does not currently have a specific Motorcycle lemon law at this time. The Pennsylvania Lemon Law currently only applies to personal use cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s, for the most part. Fortunately, however, you may be able to bring a lemon law-type claim if you have purchased a defective motorcycle. If your motorcycle suffered a substantial defect while under the original manufacturer’s warranty, there is a federal law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that covers motorcycles that have a written warranty on them. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers who purchase any product that costs over $25 and comes with a written warranty, so a motorcycle would be covered by this law. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is similar to the Pennsylvania Lemon Law in many regards. Like the Pennsylvania Lemon Law, the Act provides for a refund or free replacement of the defective product, and further provides for recovery of all associated costs including Attorney fees for bringing such a claim. If the purchaser can show that the motorcycle suffered a substantial defect or non-conformity during the warranty period, and the manufacturer was unable to remedy that defect after a reasonable number of attempts, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act will provide relief to the purchaser. The Magnuson-Moss Act is an act that was designed to ensure that manufacturers (of any product) who offer a written warranty on that product abide by and honor the terms of any warranty that they give. A purchaser of a motorcycle is a prime candidate to use this law in the event that he purchases a “lemon”. In practice, Lemon Law Attorneys have used this Act very successfully in Pennsylvania to protect purchasers of defective motorcycles. If your motorcycle has suffered a defect while still under the original manufacturer’s warranty, you may be entitled to a full refund or free replacement, plus free legal representation.

Greg Artim is an Attorney based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He handles Lemon Law and Breach of Warranty matters in all of Pennsylvania. Visit his website at http://www.ihatethislemon.com


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A General Overview of a Lemon Law Claim

Many states have automobile based lemon laws to protect individuals who have purchased defective motor vehicles. If your state does not have an automobile lemon law, you can still be protected by what is referred to as the Federal Lemon Law, or the Magnusson Moss Act. While the law is different in each state, many similarities can be found in the state lemon laws and the Federal Magnusson Moss Act. Typically, your vehicle must exhibit a defect or non-conformity that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of your vehicle. Examples of this might be engine, transmission, braking, suspension or other serious problems. The defect must first occur within some defined mileage parameter, usually 12,000 or 18,000 miles or the first year that the car is in service. The lemon laws always give the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the problem, and that can vary from state to state. The number of repair attempts is usually three or four, but check your state law to be sure. If the manufacturer cannot repair the defect within that number of attempts, then you have a lemon. Most states set forth that you are entitled to a refund of the purchase price or a replacement vehicle, free of charge. These laws usually provide for the recovery of all consequential damages that you may have encountered as well, such as all of the payments that you have made on the vehicle, including interest, any down payment, any repair charges, etc… The lemon laws are very much geared towards protecting the purchaser of a defective vehicle. They are extremely friendly consumer statutes.

The problem is that having a lemon and getting a manufacturer to agree that you have a lemon are two very different things. After your vehicle has been in for repairs the requisite number of times, the first step that you have to take is to advise the manufacturer, in writing, of your concerns. This usually takes the form of a letter to that manufacturer which essentially revokes your acceptance of the vehicle. What that means is that you are attempting to revoke the contract between yourself and the manufacturer, and are making a demand for a refund or a replacement vehicle. The manufacturer will rarely agree to your demand at this point in time. The next step, which is mandated by many state lemon laws, is that you have to submit your claim to an Arbitration panel for review. Many states, and many manufacturers, use the Better Business Bureau as its Arbitration panel. These Arbitration panels are usually non-binding on you, the consumer, but are binding upon the manufacturer. In that regard, it has been my experience that the Arbitrators tend to lean towards the side of the manufacturers in these types of cases, because they know that you can go further, and the manufacturer cannot. After Arbitration, if it is not in your favor, the next step in your lemon law claim would be to file a lawsuit against the Manufacturer in a court of competent jurisdiction. It is at this point that the Manufacturer realizes that you are serious, and may begin to entertain realistic formal discussions regarding your vehicle’s problems.

This may sound like a lot of work, a lot of hoops to jump through, and it really is, but the great thing about lemon laws is that they typically provide the consumer with Free legal representation. That’s right, you can get an Attorney to work for you for free! The Attorney is not actually working for free, but the lemon laws usually provide that the manufacturer must pay your reasonable Attorney fees if the vehicle is found to be a lemon. Lemon Law Attorneys rarely charge any up front retainers, and may or may not charge you for out-of-pocket costs on such a claim. These Attorneys typically look to the manufacturer for their fees and reimbursement of costs. While I would not wish a lemon upon anyone, getting a free attorney to assist you is not half bad.

Greg Artim is a Pennsylvania Consumer Attorney focusing on defective auto claims under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law and Breach of Warranty Matters. Visit his website at www.ihatethislemon.com


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Car Lemon Laws – You Don’t Have To Live With A Sour Deal

United States car lemon laws were enacted to protect consumers against buying defective, unrepairable vehicles. The major automobile manufacturers mass-produce their products, and generally the quality control is very good. However, when you connect more than a few parts together, you have a chance for a lemon.

What is a lemon car? A lemon or lemon car is an automobile that has a defect that cannot be repaired by the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts. Alternately, if the car has been in a repair garage for 30 calendar days or more for repairs on the same defect, it may also be classified as a lemon car. The term can also apply to a vehicle in which the defect negatively affects the value and safety of the vehicle. Car lemon laws vary by state, so you should consult your own state laws to determine the exact definition that applies to you.

Why is a terminally defective car called a lemon? One can only speculate why the name of a tart yellow citrus fruit came to be associated with defective cars. Lemons are very sour in taste, and traditionally sour tastes have been associated with bad luck. If something negative happens to a person, he or she might say, “It left a sour taste in my mouth.” A salesperson whose big deal falls through might say, “The deal went sour.” It seems plausible that the sour taste of the lemon, with its negative connotations, was used to coin the phrase “lemon car” to describe a car purchase gone sour.

Why were lemon laws needed to protect car consumers? Look at the general definitions of lemon cars shown above. Some quick math will show that a lemon car can be an extreme financial hardship. The last time you picked up your car from the repair garage, were you happy with the bill, or were you dreading it? A car with four to six (or more) attempted repairs, with all the parts and labor charges, can easily add up to thousands of dollars. If your car is stuck in a repair garage for 30 days or more, with the mechanics billing hour after hour of labor, the bill might approach the price of the car itself!

If your car meets your state’s lemon car criteria, you have the right to seek a refund or replacement from the car manufacturer (not the dealer from which you bought it). You are probably entitled to be reimbursed for related costs such as towing, rental cars, and maybe even long distance calls to the manufacturer. Be absolutely sure to keep all bills and invoices related to your attempts to get your car repaired.

If you decide to proceed with a lemon law claim against the manufacturer, it is beneficial to consult with a lawyer that specializes in lemon law cases. A lawyer can help make the stressful process go more smoothly. No doubt are already stressed enough over your lemon car.

Some states have passed lemon laws to protect consumers against defective purchases of boats and even pets. Regardless of the origin of the term, lemon laws are here to protect you. The car manufacturers can hire teams of expensive lawyers, and they know you can’t. Car lemon laws help to level the playing field in your favor.

The resource link below leads to more free info about car lemon laws. Browse more free and informative articles and tips on car lemon laws, including definition of a lemon car, lemon law attorneys, lemon law arbitration, state lemon laws and more.


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How And When To Use Your Lemon Law Rights

The “lemon law” was originally created to protect consumers from big ticket items that had a problem, and these days is almost exclusively limited to vehicles like cars, trucks and SUVs. For example, a car is considered a “lemon” under the California Lemon Law if it has been repaired four times and the defect or problem has not been resolved or fixed within the period of 18 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. Using the word “lemon” this way has most likely become increasingly popular due to the many companies and “slightly south of honest” car sales folks selling faulty products. Buying a car is not like buying a hair dryer, since you cannot return it to the store for a refund if you do not like it, or if it has a manufacturing defect. Technically, your newly purchased car is only considered a lemon if you have given proper attention to all of its problems, if all efforts to fix these problems have been exhausted, and if the manufacturer has been given the opportunity to try and fix the problem but cannot. If it seems your car is in the repair shop time and time again for the same repair, you may be the owner of a real lemon. If that is the case, you have rights as well as some responsibilities to deploy those rights.

The descriptive term “lemon” applies equally to a defective or malfunctioning car as to a citrus fruit. Basically, the California Lemon Law holds the manufacturer of a car responsible for the proper and satisfactory functioning of the car while it is under its warranty period. This also assumes that the owner of the car exercised good judgment and care of everything that would logically be expected of the car owner.

Does the car warranty matter? Of course. The repair is covered under the vehicle warranty or extended warranty, but it’s always in the shop. In many states, arbitration is used to solve problems when a car still under warranty turns out to be a lemon. If the vehicle is new, it should come with a warranty that includes a money-back option. This may be something to note to yourself next time you are shopping for a new car, since shopping for the right warranty is just as important as the car and the price you negotiate.

You must report the defect within a reasonable timeframe, or before the warranty expires. Report it to the dealer and do it in writing, and make sure you save your copy. If it malfunctions while under warranty, the manufacturer is held liable for repairs. Basically, California’s Lemon Law, sometimes also known as Consumer Warranty Law, specifies that the manufacturer carry a high degree of responsibility for sold products.

Almost every state has passed a lemon law, a statute that exists to backup the manufacturer’s written warranty that comes with the vehicle. The degree of liability and responsibility varies widely from state to state, so make sure you know what the lemon law is in your state.

The bottom line is that you as the purchaser of the vehicle have responsibilities for proper maintenance of the vehicle, which hopefully you would do anyway. But assuming you have done that and still have what is termed a “chronic” problem with the vehicle, you have rights, and it is to your benefit to know what those rights are. Jon is a computer engineer who maintains web sites on a variety of topics based on his knowledge and experience. You can read more about the lemon law and your rights at his web site at http://www.lemon-law-data.com/


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