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Understanding the Texas Lemon Law

Contrary to what its name suggests, the Texas Lemon Law is not a legislation that deals with the buying and selling of fruits or rule against its bright color.

It does not even come close.

Rather it involves the right of American consumers, who buy vehicles, used or brand new, cars or trucks, to return defective products and ask for a refund.

Along with the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Uniform Commercial Code, the Texas Lemon Law or Lemon Law in general protects the rights of American citizens to quality products that would give them value for their money.

In general, the Lemon Law requires car manufacturers and not car dealers to refund the money a consumer has paid for if a car is found to be a lemon. The definition of a lemon car is of course different with every state depending on what the state legislation says. Usually, states differ in their definition of what a lemon car is and the period of warranty that is given to the consumer. The Texas Lemon Law, for one, allows for four repair attempts or 30 days out of service for defects that are not so life-threatening. For serious product defects that pose a serious safety hazard such as problems in the steering wheel or in the brake, the Texas Lemon Law allows for only two repair attempts. If after the stated number of repair attempts, the defects have not been fixed, then a car will considered a lemon and therefore eligible for refund. The repair attempts under the Texas Lemon Law should of course happen within a period of two years or 24,000 miles whichever comes first for the four attempts. A period of one year or 12,000 miles is given to defects that affect the safety of the car.

Similar to other state laws, the Texas Lemon Law also requires consumers to have their cars fixed in authorized service centers and to make no unauthorized modification or alterations in the car. This is done to avoid questions that will be raised by manufacturer as they are accorded the right to investigate and challenge the claim. If the defect has been found to be caused by neglect, abuse and alterations not sanctioned by the manufacturer then no refunds will be given. Consumers, under the Texas Lemon Law, are also asked to put their complaint into writing, stating the defects of the car. This is especially needed if it is stated in the vehicles manual. Supporting documents should be kept in hand such as receipt of the purchase, which would state when the car was bought, repair receipts as well as diagnosis of the problem.

In addition to refunding the money, the Texas Lemon Law may also invoke the manufacturer to pay for incidental costs that the consumer has incurred due to the defect in question such as towing services and even rental of car while the lemon is still in the repair shop. Refunds will also not be given in full. Under the Texas Lemon Law, the purchase price will be lessened by the equivalent amount of the mileage that the owner has used the car.

While most companies have good arbitration programs which they use to cut down legal costs just in case the complaint goes to court, there are some car manufacturers who will remain firm that the defect was not there when you bought the car. If this happens, complainants are encouraged to seek legal counsel.

Terry Dunn is webmaster of http://www.Lemon-Law-Explained.com - an informational resource that explains what Lemon Laws are and how they can help you.

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