FAQ & TIPS

    1. Whenever you make a major purchase like a car, store all of your original documents like copies of your purchase or lease agreement, repair orders, and maintenance records in a folder. You never know what can happen, and these documents are the main evidence in a Lemon Law claim.
    2. Become familiar with your warranty by reading your manual.
    3. Remember: DO NOT leave the dealership without your repair order (without a repair order, you have no proof of repair). Make sure the repair order states the dates you dropped off and picked up your car and that it accurately describes your complaints in your words (not the dealership’s words).
    4. Before buying a used car:
      1. Have your mechanic take a test drive and/or ask a body shop mechanic to see if your vehicle was in an accident;
      2. Go to www.carfax.com to find out the ownership history of the vehicle;
      3. Go to an authorized dealer to see if their computers have any information on the repair history of the vehicle;
      4. Have your insurance company run your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on their computer to see if an accident claim was ever made with another insurance company.
    5. Don’t believe the dealership if they tell you that you do not have a lemon law claim. Contact us immediately.

    If the defective part is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, make an appointment to have it repaired at an authorized dealership. If the problem continues, take it back promptly for another repair attempt. In Oregon, the manufacturer is entitled to three repair attempts or a total of 30 days at the dealer before you are entitled to a Lemon Law remedy. In Washington the manufacturer is entitled to four attempts or thirty days at the dealer. Be sure to get a detailed documentation of each repair attempt by getting a receipt from the dealer and making sure that your complaint, their diagnosis and repair are clearly listed.

    If the vehicle is still defective, contact our firm, by completing our free case evaluation, or by calling 877-HEY-LEMON. If we accept your case, we will attempt to quickly resolve your claim with the manufacturer, or we will promptly file suit to seek compensation under the Lemon Law or federal Breach of Warranty law. If your case settles or if you win in court, your attorney’s fees will be paid by the car manufacturer in addition to your recovery. You pay only the reasonable costs. If you lose, you owe us nothing for attorney’s fees. So, regardless of the outcome, you are never responsible for paying our attorney’s fees for any case involving vehicles used for personal or household purposes.

    WHAT IS A "LEMON" ACCORDING TO THE LAW?


    A lemon is a vehicle that contains a defect or nonconformity which substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new vehicle and is not repaired within a reasonable time. The court decides whether the vehicle is a lemon on a case by case basis and looks at all the facts in making its decision.

    IF MY CASE DOES NOT MEET THE CRITERIA OF THE "LEMON LAW", DO I STILL HAVE A LEGAL RECOURSE?


    You may still have a claim under a “Breach of Warranty” if your car was covered with the basic manufacturer’s warranty when the problem(s) began. The relief is usually a partial refund. Contact us for an assessment of your claim, or complete our free case evaluation.

    WHAT IS COVERED BY THE MOTOR VEHICLE LEMON LAW?


    The Oregon and Washington Lemon Laws protect new passenger motor vehicles, whether purchased or leased, which are primary used for personal or household purposes. They do not cover commercial vehicles.

    WHEN THE DEALER CANNOT FIX MY CAR PROBLEM, SHOULD I KEEP TAKING IT BACK TO THEM?


    In general, the more repairs attempts, the stronger you case is. Four repairs for a defect may be a borderline case, but six repairs make the claim stronger. As inconvenient as it may be for you, the more visits to the dealer, the better. If the dealer tells you that there is no fix available at this time, be sure to get that in writing on your invoice and contact us immediately.

    WHAT IF I BOUGHT A USED CAR "AS IS"?


    Unfortunately, we cannot help you because we don’t handle claims for cars bought “As Is”.

    WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVE MY CASE?

    Copies of:

    1. Repair orders or invoices: These are the most important documents for your lemon law claim. Make sure that all the information on these documents is legible, complete, and accurate. All of your complaints should be written the way you originally told the dealer. Make sure the following entries are all present and correct – “date in” and “date out,” “mileage in” and “mileage out,” and their diagnosis which should include everything they did to the car.
    2. Purchase Contract
    3. Finance Agreement or Title
    4. Current Registration
      1. Keep copies of all the routine maintenance such as oil changes, because during the course of your claim it may be necessary to show that you maintained the vehicle properly.
      2. In addition, it would be helpful to keep a simple journal describing the history of your problems, with dates, events, conversations with mechanics, phone calls, etc. This may be very helpful in court a few months down the road when details may be forgotten.

    WHAT WILL IT COST ME?


    Thanks to the legislature, the Lemon Law contains a “fee-shifting provision”, which means that if you win or settle your case, the attorney’s fees “shift” to the manufacturer. This fee-shifting provision allows attorney’s fees even for smaller cash value cases. If you lose your case, we lose too and our attorney’s fees don’t get paid. You pay only the reasonable costs of litigation.

    WHAT IF THE DEALER REFUSES OR IS UNABLE TO REPAIR MY VEHICLE?


    Your manufacturer’s warranty requires that the covered defects be repaired during the warranty period. If the dealer won’t or can’t repair your vehicle, contact us immediately.