When its time to swap your car for a new one, that first drive out of the dealer is always something special. The new vehicle smell, the way they drive, everything about getting a new car or truck makes it a great day. However, while it is rare, that great day can turn into a nightmare if you are unlucky enough to get a vehicle that isn’t reliable. Of course, one does not think of the Alabama Lemon Law when entering a dealership.
Even if you have never experienced one yourself before, who hasn’t heard a story of a new vehicle that is always back in the shop having work done, and as fast as issues are fixed new ones emerge. But what do you do if that is your new vehicle? Whether you buy or lease, a new vehicle that you can’t use is a waste of money, so what is the next step? The good news is that you are not on your own, the AL Lemon Law is a set of regulations that were created to deal with this exact situation and designed to protect you, the consumer.
The Lemon Law in Alabama applies to all self-propelled vehicles designed for primary use on the public highways. That includes cars, trucks and SUVs, but does exclude motor homes and any vehicle that has a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more. The Lemon Law in Alabama is there to help you if you are struggling with a new vehicle that is just not fit for purpose, that spends more time with your dealer than it does with you, or is simply too unreliable to use. With the backing of the Alabama Lemon Law, you can seek either a replacement vehicle or a full refund, along with additional costs incurred such as breakdown assistance, any finance charges during ownership and other additional costs.
However, as with most laws, there are processes to follow and exceptions to understand if you wish to make a successful claim under the Lemon Law in Alabama. Knowing when it applies, the filing process for your complaint and what happens once you have filed can make the whole process seem much less daunting. So if you are looking at making use of the AL Lemon Law, here’s our comprehensive guide to help you get the result you need.
If you are having ongoing problems with a new vehicle, you eventually get to the point you just want the situation to end, But before you claim for a refund or replacement under the Lemon Law in Alabama, the first thing you need to do is make sure your vehicle is actually covered by the Lemon Law. Not every issue will fall under Alabama Lemon Law, and this is for good reason. If a small fault that the dealer or manufacture is willing to put right could be used to claim a refund or replacement, it would cause chaos in the industry and many manufacturers would be out of business.
The Lemon Law in Alabama is fair to both parties while providing protection for consumers, and so there are some criteria to be met to qualify.
If a vehicle displays any of the following within 2 years or 24,000 miles of delivery, which ever comes first, then it is considered a lemon:
It is important to remember that the manufacturer, agent or authorized dealer must be the only organizations who attempt repairs under the AL Lemon Law. In addition, before commencing civil action under the Lemon Law in Alabama, you must give notice of nonconforming condition to the manufacturer. This means sending a letter to the vehicle manufacturer by certified mail stating the issues and that they have one final attempt to make good the repair.
On receipt of the final notice, the manufacturer must get back to you within seven days to notify when the final repair attempt will be made, and then carry out that repair within fourteen days.
There are good reasons why not every fault means a car is a lemon, and you must give your authorized dealer or manufacturer the opportunity to fix whatever problems the vehicle may have before taking the next step. Under the Alabama Lemon Law, this means a reasonable number of repair attempts, or that the vehicle has been off the road for a total of thirty days or more. When you file a claim, you will need to provide that one or more of these has occurred, and this is why it is important to document the process.
You never know if a vehicle will turn out to be a lemon, so this applies to every vehicle you purchase. Keep records of everything, the work done, the emails, letters, bills and so on between yourself and your dealer or manufacturer. Include:
Every manufacturer has a different process, so read your warranty and stick to it. Usually, this means only using authorized dealers for any repair or inspection work. Also follow all servicing schedules, this makes it easier to claim under the Lemon Law in AL,
While it is possible to file your own claim under the Lemon Law in Alabama, it is a complex process that can be daunting and time consuming. Getting it right is important, because manufacturers will use expensive legal teams and will content the claim, and that is why it is recommended you seek out an experienced Alabama Lemon law specialist to represent you.
In many cases, when faced with an experienced lawyer, manufacturers will seek to settle, giving you a quicker result. From arbitration to ensuring your claim is backed up by appropriate documentation, a specialist lawyer is the best option when filing an Alabama lemon Law claim.