Lemon Law in Virginia

WAMU reports that Virginia has the ninth-highest cost of vehicle ownership in the U.S.

When you place so much of your income into a single item, you expect it to work well and deliver value. Consequently, discovering that a recently purchased automobile doesn’t work correctly is stressful.

Once you know the finer points of Virginia lemon law, you can take direct action to relieve the financial pressure. Get started on the path toward a beneficial resolution with us right away!

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 Virginia 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 Virginia to ensure you remain within the legal confines.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles describes the criteria a resident needs to know about state law. If your situation matches the following, you can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General. You have an entitlement to a replacement or refund when these conditions apply:

  • Three or more unsuccessful repair attempts for the same issue with the vehicle
  • Problems with the car or truck make it unusable for 30 or more days in a year

What Exactly Are Consumers Entitled To Under Lemon Laws?

You have a legal entitlement to a replacement vehicle or refund if Virginia 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
  • Registration
  • Taxes
  • 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.

Virginia law does not contain lemon law protections for used vehicles sold in the state. However, federal legislation exists that can offer a path to successful litigation.

When Should You Hire a Qualified Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia lawyer. However, introducing legal counsel into the situation is the best way for consumers to receive a fair outcome. With most Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia law firm should not charge clients fees. If you win your case, the manufacturer pays the attorney’s fees.

Many lemon law lawsuits started in Virginia will go through one of its general district courts. This portion of the judiciary adjudicates civil cases seeking up to $50,000 in damages.

Work With an Experienced Virginia Lemon Law Attorney

Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in Virginia can help guide you through the Lemon Law litigation process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Virginia state lines!

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced Virginia lemon law attorney!

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