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Just like other states in the US, Texas has a lemon law designed to protect vehicle buyers from faulty vehicles sold by unscrupulous dealers or manufacturers. Basically, the Texas Lemon Law authorizes the manufacturers to repair the faults, refund your money or give you a vehicle replacement.
Texas Lemon Law Criteria
Vehicles that are protected under this law must meet the following criteria:
- Have defects that can impair the vehicle’s safety, use or market value.
- The defect can’t be repaired by the manufacturer after a reasonable number of repair attempts. i.e. 2 attempts within the first 12,000 miles or 12 months and 2 more attempts after the first two attempts during the next 12,000 miles or 12 months.
- The defect must have been caused by the manufacturer, not any other person or through the buyer’s negligence.
- The vehicle must have been out of service for at least 30 days or more while under the manufacturer’s repair shop.
Timing is important if you want to file a lemon law case. Texas Lemon Law requires you to file your case within 6 months and either of these conditions must apply:
- 2 years from delivery date
- Expiration of the warranty
- 24,000 miles from the time of purchase.
Understanding your rights
Consumer Protection With a “Twist” is a slogan started by Texas State to ensure that their citizens are aware of their rights with respect to consumer protection matters. For instance, the state of Texas has an official website with information on lemon law provided in both English and Spanish. This information is also provided in radio spots as well as in video form. They also have a Consumer Handbook with important information regarding Texas Lemon Law and protection procedures. You will find that financial burden of lemon cars is placed on the dealer or manufacturer from whom the vehicle was purchased.
Filling a lemon law case in Texas
Texas Lemon Law requires you to report lemon law complaints at Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You are required to fill and send form ENF-140 (Texas lemon law complaint form) to this department. Remember to enclose a complaint fee of $35. Other things required when filing your complaints include:
- Type of vehicle warranty coverage
- Details of dealer or manufacturer from whom you purchased or leased the vehicle (including Name and address)
- Date the car was delivered to you
- Odometer reading at the time of purchase
- Records showing the start of defect/fault/problem, and history of attempted repairs
- Copies of repair orders
- Date you notified the dealer/manufacturer in writing of your complaint.
The claims process under Texas Lemon Law requires you to send a certified letter to your car dealer or manufacturer requesting them to inspect your car. The manufacturer is required to inspect the problem and fix it. You don’t have to send this letter before submitting form ENF-140. Note: If you just want repairs, rather than a vehicle replacement or refund of your money, you don’t have to send $35 fee when sending form ENF-140. You will also use a different address noted on the last page of the form when filing your complaint. If you’re not sure of the type of compensation you want, you may send the fee in case you change your mind and go for a refund or replacement.