Florida has what is commonly known as the “lemon law”. Chapter 681 contains this law and provides help for people who either purchased or leased a new vehicle, under certain qualifying conditions. The problem must be one that cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts or that has kept your vehicle out of use for a specific number of days. The lemon law does not apply just because you bought or leased a new car and something broke on it.
Your vehicle must have been used for family, household or personal matters. The rules for a recreational vehicle are different. The law applies to any problem that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle but it must be reported to the manufacturer, or dealer or other authorized service center, during the first 2 years of ownership. The most common problems are leaks and mechanical issues.
You must allow the manufacturer the opportunity to repair the vehicle but they cannot repair the vehicle after 3 attempts, then you must notify the manufacturer in writing by a certain method. You must also notify the manufacturer in writing if your car is out of service for the same problem for 15 days or more. Again, this notification must meet the requirements of the law. You must also allow the manufacturer to inspect your vehicle.
Your remedies are to either have the vehicle replaced or to receive a full refund of the purchase price. To have either of these remedies, the vehicle must fail to meet the requirements of the lemon law. What qualifies as a reasonable number of attempts to repair by the manufacturer is also defined in the lemon law and includes that the same problem continues after the manufacturer makes its final repair attempt or the vehicle is out of use for repair for 30 or more cumulative days. The refund remedy may include certain collateral or incidental charges.
In order to force compliance with the law, there are certain steps that must be taken by you. The statutory procedure for getting relief under the Lemon Law is technical and there are strict time limits and other requirements. It is best to consult with an attorney before attempting to resolve this type of dispute on your own. At the Horton Law Group, P.A. we understand how important it is to have a reliable and safe vehicle for yourself and your family. If you are having mechanical difficulties with a newly purchased or leased car or truck, you should consult with a qualified attorney so that you understand your rights.
This Article was written by Attorney, Sommer C. Horton. If you have questions about Florida law or procedure or about the content of this Article, please feel free to contact Ms. Horton at 561-299-0018.