Lemon Law in Vermont
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The state's Lemon Law, as described in
Chapter 115 of the Vermont Statutes, is designed to protect you from being stuck with a new vehicle that is defective. In a nutshell, if you buy a new car that has persistent problems during the warranty period that the dealer's repair shop just can't fix, you might be entitled for a refund or a replacement car from the manufacturer.
Is My Vehicle a Lemon?
If you purchased a new vehicle with major issues and the dealer cannot repair it, you may be entitled to a replacement or refund. Your vehicle must meet the following criteria:
- The car was purchased in Vermont.
- The dealer has been unable to repair the defect after at least 3 attempts.
- Your vehicle has been inoperative for 30 days within the warranty period due to repair attempts.
Once you determine your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, you'll need to seek arbitration through the VT Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or consult a lemon law attorney to file a civil suit.
The Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board will not hear your argument if your vehicle was/is:
- Purchased out of state.
- Not registered in Vermont.
- A truck with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) over 12,000 lbs.
Filing a Lemon Law Claim in Vermont
If you suspect you have been saddled with a dud, you can test the power of the Lemon Law by filling out a Demand for Arbitration form (Form VN-219) and filing it with the Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board. You'll also send a copy to the manufacturer of your vehicle. All claims must be filed within 1 year after your vehicle's warranty expiring.
If the Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board rules in your favor, it holds the power to award you either a prorated refund or a comparable new replacement vehicle. But just because your case reaches the board does not guarantee it will end in your favor. There is always the chance the board could side with the manufacturer or even dismiss the case.
The DMV conveniently provides a list of forms and worksheets to assist your process. Read these documents carefully (especially the repair history worksheets), as they will guide you as you begin to gather paperwork documenting your case. Keep all repair receipts and any correspondence with your dealer or the manufacturer.
All forms, including the Demand for Arbitration (Form VN-219), must be mailed to:
- Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board
- 14 Baldwin St.
- Montpelier, VT 05602
Hiring a Vermont Lemon Law Attorney
If you're looking for a lemon law attorney in Vermont, it's important to do some research to find the right one. You'll want to hire an attorney with:
- Knowledge of lemon laws and buyer rights in Vermont.
- Lemon laws differ from state to state, so be sure to hire an attorney who knows the Vermont law specifically.
- Effective communication skills.
- A winning track record in lemon law cases.
Since consultations are generally free, you can maximize your chances by reaching out to a number of lemon law attorneys.
Benefits of a VT Lemon Law Attorney
Hiring a lemon law attorney in Vermont can help you get a replacement vehicle or a refund for your defective vehicle. A good lawyer can also:
- Negotiate with the manufacturer on your behalf.
- Help you understand the lemon law in Vermont.
- Fill out all the necessary court paperwork for your lemon law case.