Lemon Law in Louisiana
Buying a new car can be an exciting experience. Maybe you're trading in the clunker your grandparents gave you when you first obtained your license, or maybe you're finally getting rid of that gas guzzler. Either way, you're ready to cruise the streets in your new ride.
However, buying a new car can also be a hassle―if you happen to buy a lemon.
A "lemon" is a new vehicle that fails to conform with the warranty. It has a defect that causes impairment to the vehicle's value, safety, or use. In addition, the vehicle is unable to be repaired after 4 attempts during the time of the warranty or within 1 year after its purchase, whichever is sooner.
If the vehicle is out of service for a total of 45 days, it may also be a lemon.
Louisiana provides the Lemon Law to protect consumers from purchasing lemons. The law also helps reimburse drivers for such a purchase.
Vehicles covered under the Louisiana Lemon Law include:
- Passenger motor vehicles sold in Louisiana.
- Passenger and commercial motor vehicles sold in Louisiana.
- Personal watercrafts and ATVs sold or still under warranty on or after August 15, 1999.
- Drive train and chassis of a motor home that is used for personal and not commercial uses still under warranty on or after August 15, 1999, or sold in Louisiana.
Vehicles not covered under the Lemon Law include:
- Newly-leased vehicles
- Demonstrator vehicles
- Mobile homes
Under the Louisiana Lemon Law, the vehicle's manufacturer or the authorized dealer must either repair or replace the vehicle.
After the manufacturer or dealer has made 4 attempts to repair the vehicle, or the vehicle has been inoperable for 45 days due to repairs, the vehicle must be replaced or refunded. The problem must be resolved within 10 business days.
While the vehicle is being repaired, the purchaser may choose to rent another vehicle. If so, the manufacturer must reimburse the purchaser up to $20 daily, as long as the vehicle is still covered under the expressed warranty and the repair is to a nonconformity covered in the warranty.What If the Manufacturer Won't Comply?
If your manufacturer refuses to repair or replace your vehicle, consider hiring a lemon law attorney. Your attorney can assist you in compelling your manufacturer to comply.
If you still have no luck, your attorney can help you through the arbitration process or even filing a lawsuit if you're still unable to resolve your case.
If your vehicle is a lemon, you must first work with the manufacturer through the free mediation and/or arbitration procedures.
Make sure to keep all receipts dealing with vehicle repairs and maintenance. You'll need to present this information during the arbitration procedures.
If no settlement or satisfaction can be reached, you'll probably want to seek the aid of an attorney who specializes in the Louisiana Lemon Law.
The Better Business Bureau offers a Lemon Law complaint form to utilize as well.
Talk with people who have experience with the same vehicle, and make sure you fully understand the vehicle's warranty and all procedures that will be taken should the vehicle turn out to be a lemon.
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