Florida lemon law insights

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Florida lemon law protects buyers against defective automobiles. If you purchase a defective car, this law provides guidelines that you can follow to get the defects repaired. It acts as arbitrator to settle disputes between buyers and vehicle dealers/manufacturers. The law only covers news cars that you purchase or new cars that you obtain through a long term lease. If your car is defective, the authorized manufacturer/dealer will be compelled to repair it. After a number of unsuccessful attempts to repair the defects, the manufacturer will be compelled to refund your money or replace the vehicle with a new one.

Qualification for Florida Lemon Law Arbitration

To qualify for Lemon Law arbitration in Florida, your vehicle must meet one of the following conditions:

  • The said defect must have considerable impact on the vehicle's value, safety or use
  • The manufacturer or dealer must have tried to repair the said defect three times
  • The vehicle must not be in use for at least 15 days due to the said defect
  • You have owned the vehicle within the duration of 24 months after the purchase.

Guidelines to follow

After three unsuccessful attempts to repair the vehicle, you should mail a copy of repair receipts and Motor Vehicle Defect Notification (MVDN) form to the manufacturer. Florida Lemon Law requires you to send these documents through a registered mail. This is evidence that you have given the manufacturer one final attempt to repair the defects or at least inspect the vehicle. Keep all the records of vehicle purchase and repairs details that you may have had with your authorized dealer or manufacturer. You will need these records if you fail to resolve the disputes with your manufacturer.

Remedies and Settlements as set out by Florida Lemon Law

Many vehicle manufacturers in Florida offer state-certified arbitration when you report the defects within their stated duration after purchase. If your manufacturer offers this service, consult with them first before rushing to file a complaint at Florida Attorney General Office. If you want to purchase a vehicle with a guaranteed arbitration in case of defects, purchase it from manufacturers with state-certified dispute settlement programs. Florida Attorney General Website has a complete list of these manufacturers. If you are not satisfied with their resolutions, you can then take your complaints to the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board. You must contact the office of the Attorney General to file your complaint by later or either:

  • Up to 60 days after the end of your lemon law period. OR
  • Up to thirty days after the state-certified manufacturer dispute settlement program’s feedback.

You can Download a Florida Lemon Law Arbitration form or contact Florida’s consumer Hotline at (800) 321-5366 or (850) 414-3500 (for out of state customers). If your request is considered, a hearing will be scheduled. For successful hearing, be sure to provide all documents regarding the vehicle purchase, evidence showing communications with the manufacturer to repair the vehicle and documentation showing vehicle repair history. This information will provide proof of your claims.