What is Florida Lemon Law? FL lemon law is a motor vehicle law that allows owners to get a full refund or replacement for damaged motor vehicles.
But the FL Lemon Law doesn’t apply to all motor vehicles, and taking the privileges of this law for consumers isn’t hassle-free either. The law is abided by some strict rules and time frames.
And in this blog post, we have revealed all those rules and procedures that manufacturers, vehicle owners, and lessees should follow. So, let’s learn about them.
What Is Lemon Law?
The Lemon Law, also known as Florida Lemon law or the motor vehicle warranty enforcement act, offers justice to the consumers who purchase or lease new motor vehicles that don’t run properly or remain defective even after going through several repairs at a given time.
In essence, this law’s purpose is to provide purchasers with a way to receive a refund of the purchase price by following specific prescribed steps.
FL Lemon Law Statutes
According to the Florida lemon law statutes, the legislature considers a motor vehicle a significant consumer purchase, and a malfunctioned motor vehicle can create privation for the purchasers.
The legislature also recognizes that an aptly franchised motor vehicle dealer is an authorized manufacturer’s agent. The legislature believes that the manufacturers should resolve valid consumer complaints that fall under their motor vehicle warranty within a specific time.
The legislature intends to give consumers the statutory procedures where purchasers may get a motor vehicle replacement or a full refund for the vehicle that can’t be brought into conformity with the warranty offered.
Nothing in this FL Lemon Law will limit or expand the rights and remedies available to consumers under any other law.
Florida Lemon Law Appliances
For your information, Florida Lemon Law applies only to new vehicles with manufactural defects, affecting the vehicle’s overall performance, outlook, safety, and value.
By defects, lawmakers consider defective paint, leaks, mechanical problems, and any other accidental issues not caused by accidents, neglect, or modification by anyone other than the manufacturer or authorized service agent.
But to get the privilege, consumers must file a complaint within 24 months after the vehicle’s purchase. Again, suppose the consumer sells the vehicle to another person within 24 months. In that case, the lemon law’s rights will be transferred to the new purchaser and remain valid until the Florida Lemon Law time limit ends.
Now, let’s talk about what vehicles come under the FL Lemon Law’s coverage. The lemon law suits cars, vans, SUVs, recreational vehicles without living facilities, trucks under 10,000 pounds, used for personal, family, and household purposes.
That means the Florida lemon law isn’t applicable for motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and other transportation used for business purposes.
Also, this law doesn’t apply to used cars. In short, there is no Florida Lemon Law for used cars that can benefit you.
Actions Manufacturers Should Take According To FL Lemon Law
If a motor vehicle does not meet the manufacturer’s warranty and a consumer still reports any problem within the Florida Lemon Law period. In that case, the manufacturer should address the problem by making necessary repairs without charging the purchaser an additional fee.
Note: Nothing here is interpreted to grant the law period’s extension for consumers to file claims.
Manufacturers should include the phone number, address, district, or regional office location in the owner’s manual.
And by the first of January of every year, the manufacturer must forward a document copy of the written warranty or owner’s manual to the department.
While consumers acquire vehicles, the seller must provide clear instructions to the purchaser on how to make a claim through the certified process.
Also, the manufacturer must provide the dealer with a written statement outlining the buyer’s rights under this chapter, which the dealer must then forward to the buyer.
The department should draft such a written statement and include a toll-free number to assist consumers in gathering information about their rights and obligations or initiating arbitration proceedings.
Assume that the manufacturer receives a signed receipt for timely delivery of adequate quantities of the written statement that meets the dealer’s vehicle sales requirement. In that scenario, the manufacturer’s compliance with this subsection should be prima facie proof.
Likewise, the buyer’s signed acceptance of receipt should serve as prima facie proof of the manufacturer’s and dealer’s compliance.
If all goes well, the department will approve the acknowledgments, and the dealer must maintain the purchaser’s signed receipt for three consecutive years.
Lastly, the manufacturer must provide consumers with a fully itemized, legible statement through the authorized service agent every time the manufacturer returns the repaired motor vehicles to purchasers.
The statement should contain everything in detail performed by the manufacturer, such as any test drive, diagnosis, or other repairs. The manufacturer must briefly describe the completed motor work in the report and avoid including only a generic description.
Steps Consumers Should Follow As Per The Florida Lemon Law
After complaining about the problems, consumers should allow the manufacturers to attempt 3 repairs.
Consumers must notify manufacturers in writing via registered or express mail if manufacturers can’t correct nonconformities after 3 attempts. And purchasers must give manufacturers ten days to make a final effort.
The manufacturers will have 10 days to fix the vehicles and send them to the customers.
However, if the motor vehicles fall under the recreational vehicle(RV) category, the manufacturers will have 45 days rather than 10 days to fix any nonconformities before the buyers receive the vehicles.
The requirement that manufacturers should be given a final attempt to fix the problems is not applicable in cases where manufacturers ignore customers’ inquiries but offer to have the motor vehicle repaired within the time frame specified in this subsection.
Consumers should send written notice to the manufacturer via registered or express mail if the motor vehicle develops issues following repairs made by the manufacturer or an authorized service agency. This will allow the manufacturer to assess the vehicle and make necessary repairs.
If the manufacturer fails to address the problems after performing several repairs within 40 days, the manufacturer has to repurchase the vehicle and refund the entire payment to the consumer.
The refund or replacement must contain all incidental expenses. Consumers can choose a refund or a replacement based on their preferences.
After getting a refund or replacement, the customer should sign the receipt with a clear title that specifies that they are the vehicle’s owners.
If there is any interest, the maker must pay it to the consumer and the registered lienholder. Again, the manufacturer must give the lessor and lessee a refund if appropriate.
While refunding, the manufacturer must ensure that the lessee receives the lessee’s cost and the lessor gets the lease price that is less than the lessee’s cost.
Lessees won’t be penalized for ending a lease early if they get a new car or a refund. After the manufacturer has refunded the buyer, lienholder, or lessor, the revenue department shall transfer the sales tax to the manufacturer.
However, to receive a sales tax refund, the manufacturer must provide a written document to the revenue department explaining when the vehicle was acquired, the time of repayment, and proof of the paid sales tax.
What If A Consumer Files A Bad Or False Claim Against The Manufacturer?
Let’s say the court discovers a consumer’s bogus claim, or the court figures out the consumer has filed a complaint to annoy the manufacturer. In that situation, the customer will be responsible for any costs incurred by the manufacturer or its representative, including Florida Lemon Law attorney fees.
What If A Manufacturer Disagrees To Refund After Conducting Several Vehicle-Repairing Attempts?
Suppose a manufacturer fails to resolve nonconformities after multiple tries and refuses to issue a complete refund or replacement to the consumer. In that case, the customer can cite his or her rights through one or two arbitration programs based on the situation.
However, suppose a manufacturer sponsors his or her arbitration program. In that case, he or she must submit for arbitration to the manufacturer-sponsored program.
The program must be approved by the state of Florida and must include important details such as when the consumer buys or leases the vehicle, the manufacturer’s warranty, and other written documentation that describe how and where to submit a claim with a state-approved program.
In case the manufacturer’s state-certified program goes phut to make an appreciable decision within 40 days, the manufacturer can submit the dispute to the Florida motor vehicle arbitration board.
If a consumer is dissatisfied with the state-certified program’s settlement, he or she also can submit a dispute like a manufacturer to the Florida motor vehicle arbitration board.
After the submission of the dispute, the Lemon Law Arbitration Division’s Attorney General will commence an eligibility screening process to evaluate if the claim is possibly eligible for arbitration or not.
Dispute-Settlement Procedures According To The Florida Lemon Law
If a manufacturer has set up a procedure that the division has certified as significantly adhering to the provisions of 16 CFR part 703 and the provisions and rules of this chapter, and the manufacturer has informed the consumer about the proper steps to take, the provisions will only apply if the consumer has started the procedure.
The decision-makers for a certified procedure should consider all legal and impartial factors relevant to a fair decision, including the warranty, rights, remedies, and other factors.
The decision-makers and staff of a procedure must be trained in this chapter’s provisions and 16 CFR part 703. If a consumer takes action concerning an apparent nonconformity, the decision makers’ decision will still be allowable in evidence,
A manufacturer can apply to the division for the procedure’s certification. After applying and receiving the receipt and application’s evaluation, the division will certify the procedure or notify the manufacturer whether any correction is needed in the application or not.
To obtain certification, an applicant must submit a copy of each approved settlement to the division within 30 days after the decision-makers make the settlement or decision.
The information that the decision or settlement must include is as follows:
- Consumer’s Name And Address
- Manufacturer’s name and the dealership’s address
- The claim-receiving date and the procedure’s office location that handles the claim
- The consumer’s relief
- Each decision maker’s name approves the settlement
- The settlement or decision’s statement containing the terms
- The statement or decision’s date
- A statement of whether the consumer accepts the decision or not
The manufacturer must submit an annual audit copy and other additional information needed for the certification purposes to the division.
The division should go through each approved procedure at least once a year and make an annual report evaluating the certified procedure’s operation established by the manufacturer and applicants looking for certification.
If the certification is officially canceled, the division should explain why this happens. All the reports and actions taken for accreditation will be public records.
- A manufacturer with a denied or revoked certification will be qualified for a hearing according to chapter 120.
- Prior resort provisions do not apply when the federal government preempts the state’s authority to control procedures.
- The division will promulgate rules to implement this section.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Does The Florida Lemon Law Cover?
The Florida Lemon Law covers nonconformities of new or demonstrator motor vehicles. More specifically, it covers all the defects or conditions that can damage a new motor vehicle’s value, safety, and use.
Is There A 30-Day Lemon Law In Florida?
Yes, there is a 30-day lemon law in Florida. In essence, the Lemon Law is consumer-friendly, so the consumers can benefit from the privilege of getting a full refund or replacement that the law offers even after the 30-day period ends.
Does The Florida Lemon Law Apply To Used Cars?
No, the Lemon Law doesn’t apply to used cars, and it is only applicable for new vehicles that consumers purchase from manufacturers, authorized service agents, or leases from lessors.
The FL Lemon Law gives vehicle owners and lessees the right to file an action in court to recover damages caused by the lemon law’s violation.
If the purchasers or lessees win the case, they will receive the amount of any financial losses, litigation costs and attorney’s fees, and other compensation that the judge thinks is fair.
Here’s another significant fact to note, the relief getting procedure under lemon law is technical and follows strict time limits and other requirements, and everything may vary if the motor vehicle is a recreational vehicle. That’s all about the lemon law; we hope now you have a better understanding of this law.
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Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.