Lemon Law Vs. Product Liability in Florida – A Guide

A vehicle is a substantial investment for most people, so they want one that does not have defects and that they will get value and utility from. However, there are situations where this isn’t possible due to various reasons, such as defective parts or poor design. Several laws protect consumers and require manufacturers to ensure their vehicles are safe and effective when owners use them as intended. These laws also give consumers recourse for what to do if they buy a defective vehicle or if it causes injuries or fatalities. Our car accident lawyer in Tampa can help you deal with the aftermath of a crash in Florida.

Lemon Law Vs. Product Liability

Many people confuse these two because they are somewhat similar in that they have to do with defective vehicles but are different in their implementation.

The Florida Lemon Law, also called the Florida Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, protects people who purchase or lease defective vehicles. These defects must impair the safety, value, or use of a new car. Vehicle owners must report them to the authorized service agent, typically the dealer or manufacturer, within 24 months of purchase.

Product liability protects people injured due to a defective vehicle or its parts. If this happens, the injured party can file a product liability lawsuit. A deceased victim’s family can also sue for wrongful death, but you should only file with the help of an attorney because these cases can get complicated.

Lemon Law Claims

If you have reported vehicle defects to a manufacturer or service agent within the required period, they must honor your warranty. If they fail to do so after you have made a reasonable number of attempts to get them to do it, they have to buy the vehicle back and refund you the purchase price or provide a replacement vehicle.

The reasonable number of attempts is gauged in two ways:

  1. If you have taken the vehicle for repair three times for the same issue, you must write to the manufacturer to ask them to do it. The manufacturer then has ten days to send a customer to a repair facility and ten days after the facility receives the vehicle to repair it.
  2. If your vehicle has been to the authorized repair shop for at least one issue and has spent 15 or more cumulative days there, you must write to the manufacturer. They or their service agent get one more chance to complete the repairs.

Florida’s Lemon law does not cover defects caused by unauthorized repairs, modifications, abuse, neglect, or accidents.

The next step if the repairs are not done is to submit the details to an arbitration board. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can file a lawsuit with the help of our attorneys. We have offices in 32 locations in 19 states, including Florida, Virginia, Arizona, and Iowa.

Product Liability Claims

To make a product liability claim, you need to prove negligence. This is done by showing you have suffered injuries or damages due to the product and the product was poorly designed. You must also show that the manufacturer knew about the issue and did not rectify it. Lastly, you must prove proximate cause and that you were using the product as intended at the time of the incident.

Lemon Law ensures vehicle owners are not stuck with defective vehicles, while product liability gives recourse if a person is injured or dies due to a defective vehicle or its part(s). You can sue in either situation depending on prevailing circumstances, and our attorneys can help with this process.

You can call us now for a free consultation at (888) 477-0597 if you have a defective vehicle for which Lemon law applies or have been injured due to a defective one.