Lemon Law in Washington

Are you worried about how much a lemon car or truck will cost you?

Patch Media reports Washington State residents spend around $2,704 on their vehicles annually. If your significant expense on an automobile goes south, there could be tens of thousands more. Therefore, ensuring that you receive the refund or replacement you deserve is crucial. Start planning how to protect your financial future through this guide today.

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 Washington 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 Washington to ensure you remain within the legal confines.

The Office of the Attorney General has written a guide to the details of lemon law in the state. First, motorists should know they have 30 months from taking possession to request arbitration. Current legislation also separates the defects into nonconformities and safety defects. For example, Washington allows for four repair attempts for the former. The latter only has two chances to ensure the vehicle is ready to take out.

What Exactly Are Consumers Entitled To Under Lemon Laws?

You have a legal entitlement to a replacement vehicle or refund if Washington 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.

Washington State does not have a used car lemon law. As a result, this lack of coverage has caused some controversy. Reporting by KIRO 7 News states that 31% of automotive complaints involved pre-owned vehicles. Relying on the warranties offered by dealerships clearly has legal gaps that create the need for litigation.

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

A Washington lemon law attorney may file your lawsuit with a district or municipal court. These judiciaries handle civil cases of $100,000 or less currently.

Work With an Experienced Washington Lemon Law Attorney

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

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

How It All Works

Call us or answer the questions on this site. Your category, location, and additional information will help us connect you to a legal professional and we’ll send you the results instantly.

Which Areas of Law?

We have attorneys in over 20 legal categories to choose from.

How Much Does This Cost?

We don’t charge you to be connected. Some legal categories require upfront fees while others do not. The legal professional will determine this with you before you commit to anything.