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West Virginia Lemon Law
West Virginia offers protection against the purchase of "lemons," vehicles that don't meet the requirements and obligations under the terms of warranties.
The West Virginia lemon law allows vehicle manufacturers a certain number of attempts to repair your vehicle's defect/malfunction before they are required to offer you a replacement vehicle or a refund of your purchase.
On this page you'll find an overview of the West Virginia lemon law, criteria that classifies your vehicle as a lemon, and the steps you may need to take to fix the problem.
Simply put, lemons in West Virginia are any passenger vehicles that are sold new to a consumer in the state but are flawed and unable to be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.
If the vehicle can't be repaired within the terms of the warranty after a reasonable number of attempts, you may have a lemon. Additionally, your vehicle will generally need to have a defect that either:
- Significantly reduces the market resale value of the car.
- Makes it unsafe to drive and likely to cause a serious injury or even death.
- Impairs the normal function of the car.
"Reasonable repair attempts" are defined as:
- 1 attempt for conditions that could result in death or serious bodily injury.
- 3 attempts for all other conditions.
It is the duty of the manufacturer, agent, or authorized dealer to replace the vehicle. It is also the right of the consumer to sue for repurchase if the vehicle is not replaced.
Matters should be initially handled with the manufacturer, agent, or authorized dealer. However, attorneys who specialize in the West Virginia lemon law can assist with legal matters, and in West Virginia, you can file a lawsuit without having to arbitrate your claim.
If your vehicle is indeed a lemon, you could be entitled to a full or partial refund, or a comparable replacement for your defective vehicle. Your reimbursement may include:
- Sales tax, license and registration fees, expenses incurred due to the purchase of the new vehicle, and/or damages for the diminished value of the vehicle.
- Damages for the cost of repairs.
- Damages for the loss of use and inconvenience.
- Attorney fees.
Even if you don't suspect your vehicle is a lemon, it's important to be aware of these facts for future reference:
- All manufacturers are required to inform you of your rights under the West Virginia lemon law in the form of a written statement when you purchase a vehicle.
- Dealers are required to inform you in the form of a written statement of any repairs performed on the new vehicle if they were performed after shipment. This doesn't include identical part replacement such as tires, antennae, and minor components.
- Vehicles returned under the lemon law may not be resold in West Virginia unless the required repairs have been made and a written statement is provided informing the new consumer of the vehicle's history and necessary repairs.
If you need any legal advice, please contact an attorney.NEED AN ATTORNEY?
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