Lemon Law in Hawaii
KHON reports that Hawaii saw a 38.3% year-over-year price increase for used cars in 2022. This astonishing increase in the cost of vehicles makes an already momentous investment even more critical.
Additionally, when you discover irredeemable problems, correcting it is vitally important. This effort can require the help of a lemon law attorney when the seller or manufacturer refuses to do what’s right. Get started with your checklist using the details we have collected below.
What Is a Lemon Law?
Lemon laws deal with consumer protections that are particularly applicable to automobile purchases. For any lemon law to apply, the automobile must suffer from a defect. This problem should be outside the purchaser’s control, like a manufacturer issue. Furthermore, lemon laws apply if a certain number of reasonable repairs happened to the vehicle in question to no avail.
When Do Hawaii Lemon Laws Apply?
Lemon laws only apply when the vehicle in question is under warranty. This restriction does not mean it has to have a new guarantee. There are often dealership warranties attached to certified used cars. Under the federal lemon law requirements, conditions must meet the following criteria:
- The manufacturer attempted to fix the issue on several occasions. Note that the number of conditions that merit a lemon law application can vary based on the court’s opinion.
- There have been attempts to address the issue(s) in question within the first two years of owning and operating the vehicle.
- The car has been out of service for at least 30 days. Note that the days do not have to be consecutive.
How Do You Ensure the Application of Lemon Laws?
There are some common practices that you can take that better position you when citing lemon law:
- You should only take the vehicle in question to the corresponding dealership for repairs. By taking it there, you establish credibility by showing the responsible party attempted to address the issue. If you take the vehicle to a mom-and-pop mechanic, the manufacturer cannot be held liable for any attempts made to fix the problem.
- Keep accurate and detailed records of any repairs made. This way, if your case goes to trial, have accurate logs that detail the manufacturer’s opportunities to fix the mechanical issues. This detail also helps build a timeline of how long you could not use your vehicle.
Lemon law statutes vary by state. You should research the lemon law requirements in Hawaii to ensure you remain within the legal confines.
The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs publishes a handbook about the lemon laws in Hawaii. According to this publication, there should be three repair attempts to correct any issues. Additionally, there is a presumption that your vehicle will be out of commission for 30 days. There can also be evidence of “serious nonconformity” to give yourself the strongest possible case.
What Exactly Are Consumers Entitled To Under Lemon Laws?
You have a legal entitlement to a replacement vehicle or refund if Hawaii lemon laws apply. However, manufacturers may deduct a fee in proportion to the miles the owner put on the car or truck before it became unusable. This compensation should include:
- Down payment
- Car rentals
- Monthly payments
- Tow expenses
- Attorney costs
Do Lemon Laws Apply to Used Vehicles?
Lemon laws can apply to used vehicles. However, this is for written warranties distributed along with the vehicle upon sale. Often, a used car dealership sells vehicles with a portion of the guarantee remaining. This situation incentivizes the purchase and (allegedly) puts the buyer’s mind at ease.
The State of Hawaii requires a used car dealer to provide a written warranty. But, certain conditions apply to this coverage that include:
- Five years or less old
- Sale price of more than $1,500
- 12,000 to 75,000 miles on the vehicle
- No custom builds for racing purposes
- The car is not a “total loss” or generally inoperable
When Should You Hire a qualified Hawaii Lemon Law Attorney?
Have you attempted to have your vehicle repaired at the dealership? Consumers should consider legal action when it doesn’t work for 30 days. If you can’t resolve the issue with the manufacturer, it may be time to bring in an experienced Hawaii lemon law attorney.
How Does the Lemon Law Litigation Process Work?
Consumers can expect to go through a series of motions by bringing in an experienced Hawaii lawyer. However, introducing legal counsel into the situation is the best way for consumers to receive a fair outcome. With most Hawaii lemon law attorneys, you can expect the following:
- Free Case Evaluation – Attorneys should review your case for free. They will determine its merit and whether you have a justifiable claim.
- Filing Your Claim – Your Hawaii legal representative should handle filing a claim with the manufacturer after determining the facts.
- Further Action – Your vehicle’s manufacturer may refuse to comply with the claim under federal and state statutes. Then your attorney files suit to seek entitled compensation on your behalf.
- Pursuing Settlement – The manufacturer should cover all costs and fees if you achieve a settlement before trial. This compensation will often include attorney fees.
- Contingency Fee Basis – At the end of the ordeal, clients should not have to pay for attorney’s fees. Even if you ultimately lose your case, a reputable Hawaii law firm should not charge clients fees. If you win your case, the manufacturer pays the attorney’s fees.
A small claims court in Hawaii can take care of litigation for less than $5,000. District courts will handle damages of up to $40,000. More significant losses will involve filing a civil complaint with the circuit court system.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Hawaii
Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in Hawaii can help guide you through the Lemon Law litigation process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Hawaii state lines!
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!