Although every state has a Lemon Law, the Virginia Lemon Law is perhaps the strongest in the country. The law protects consumers from unfair warranties and holds the vehicle manufacturer responsible for their products. The Lemon Law in Virginia covers purchased or leased cars and reasonable legal fees.
When is a car in Virginia a lemon?
A lemon car in Virginia is one that meets one of three criteria, and it happens within 18 months of purchase or lease:
- Three unsuccessful attempts to repair the fault
- One unsuccessful attempt to repair a serious fault that affects safety of the occupants
- Been out of service due to repairs for 30 days or more
Vehicle manufacturers are obliged to ensure their products conform to the warranty in place. If this cannot be done within a reasonable amount of time, the manufacturer must replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price, less an amount for the use of the vehicle.
Filing a claim:
It is the owner’s responsibility to file a claim with the manufacturer. Under certain conditions, the manufacturer may be granted a fourth attempt to fix the fault.
It is imperative that you have records of the problem and the efforts that were made to repair it. Keep records of communication with the dealer, and a log of the time the car was unavailable. If the manufacturer refuses your claim, you have recourse, you can try arbitration with the Better Business Bureau, or you can take the case to civil court.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the arbitration, you still have the right to hire an attorney familiar with Virginia Lemon Law and file a lawsuit. It is in court that you will be happy that you are prepared with a full history of the problem and your attempts to have it fixed.
The Virginia Lemon Law provides recourse for those that purchased or leased a vehicle that has a serious fault. For more information on the law, you are invited to visit Lemon Law America.