Lemon Law in West Virginia

WOWK has a shocking report about the increase in prices for used cars in West Virginia. From 2021 to 2022, the year-over-year cost grew by 24.2%. This growth resulted in an average price of $34,392.

This news is most unwelcome since Americans have seen their budgets squeezed by inflation. There is little tolerance for a defective product in the best of times. But, periods of increased costs also make it vital to resolve the purchase of a lemon as soon as possible. Begin taking steps today by assessing your legal needs and options outlined 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 West 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 West Virginia to ensure you remain within the legal confines.

West Virginia Code has strict expectations for the enforcement of its lemon laws. One situation that meets requirements is three failed repair attempts and thirty days without operation. But, there is only one repair attempt for a problem that could lead to injuries or death in the first year or warranty expiration. If either of these scenarios fits your experience, you have the right to demand a replacement or refund.

What Exactly Are Consumers Entitled To Under Lemon Laws?

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

West Virginia Code does not have explicit solutions for used vehicles that are lemons. However, dealerships and manufacturers must honor any warranties they offer on their automobiles. Moreover, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act can offer a solution using the federal court system.

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

West Virginia magistrate courts take care of civil litigation seeking up to $10,000. The next level is the state’s circuit courts which can adjudicate cases for over $7,500 in damages.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In West Virginia

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

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