Could the Louisiana lemon law help you resolve your car issue? If you have purchased or leased a defective vehicle, understanding if the lemon law of Louisiana applies to you could be the first step toward obtaining compensation. The term lemon law refers to statutes for consumer products that are defective or despite numerous repairs, do not function.
The Louisiana lemon laws have been put into place in order to protect consumers. Each state has enacted specific laws regarding if a car qualifies as a lemon. Below you’ll find a summary of the lemon law of Louisiana, what you should do if you think your car is a lemon, and lemon law resources.
One of the most important aspects to consider regarding whether your state’s lemon law applies to your case is whether your car is new vs. used. Most lemon law state statutes apply only to new cars. Although Louisiana does not have specific provisions for used cars, some states do have provisions under their used car lemon laws.
The issue is specifically linked to your vehicle’s warranty. New cars are sold with vehicle warranties that specify coverage for a specified number of miles or months. It is under the umbrella of this warranty that the lemon law generally applies. For used cars sold by dealers with warranties, coverage under the state’s lemon law may apply. Because Louisiana does not have specified lemon laws for used cars if you purchased your used car with a warranty, federal lemon laws may apply.
The following are the key aspects of the LA lemon law. In order for your car to qualify under the lemon law, your vehicle must meet these conditions:
• The Louisiana law applies to vehicles under 10,000 lbs., sold in the state and excluding motor homes, motorcycles, and vehicles used for commercial purposes only.
• In order to qualify, your vehicle must have had a minimum of 4 repair attempts - 30 calendar days out of service.
• The coverage period is Express warranty period or 1 year, whichever occurs first.
If the above conditions apply to your situation with your purchased or leased vehicle and the dealer/manufacturer is unable to correct the problem, under the Louisiana lemon laws the dealer/manufacturer must the manufacturer shall do one of two things:
• Replace the motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle, or, at its option;
• Accept return of the motor vehicle and refund the full purchase price plus any amounts paid by the consumer at the point of sale, and all collateral costs less a reasonable allowance for use.
First, if you are considering making a lemon law claim, you’ll need to keep accurate records. Keep detailed accounts of all problems, repairs performed, and the number of days your car is unavailable to you while repairs are being made. Without these documents, proving that your car qualifies as a lemon will be a challenge. If you did keep track when problems first arose, ask the dealer for the repair records.
To help you organize your documentation, click on this link for a repair log:Lemon Law Repair Log
Second, in order to potentially invoke the LA lemon law, you must communicate in writing with the dealer attempting to fix the vehicle that you feel your car qualifies. If the problem is not resolved, contact the manufacturer directly, detailing the problem. When contacting the manufacturer, specifically ask for their procedure for making a lemon law claim.
A final step you can take is to hire a lemon law attorney. The good news is that the attorney fees are generally free to the consumer. If an attorney who specializes in the LA lemon laws loses your case, they don’t get paid. If they win, the manufacturer pays the legal fees. Thus, if you do not feel like the dealer or manufacture has provided sufficient restitution, having a lemon law attorney review your case may be a good option.
If it appears that your vehicle would not qualify under the LA lemon law, there may be another option. A potential resource is the federal lemon law.This statute is called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. The federal lemon law falls under the breach of warranty (BOW) statute. Restitution under this act is different than under than Louisiana lemon laws. Instead of a refund for the defective vehicle, compensation is the difference between the Kelly blue book value of the car in excellent conditions vs. good or poor condition.
Again, if you are unclear if the Louisiana lemon law applies to your situation, a lemon law lawyer can be consulted at no cost to you to review your case and determine if the federal lemon law applies to your case.
If you have specific questions regarding LA lemon laws, you can contact the Attorney General’s Office at the following address:
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804