Lemon Laws in Florida

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  • What is it?
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  • Pursuing a case
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Florida’s lemon laws were enacted to protect drivers from defective or malfunctioning vehicles—but the laws only cover new and demonstrator cars under warranty, not used cars.
If you’re thinking of pursuing a claim under Florida’s lemon statute, it’s always a good idea to consult a lawyer. They can help guide you through the process.
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For everything you need to know about Florida’s lemon statute, keep reading!
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What is a lemon law?

A lemon law is a piece of legislation designed to protect consumers from losing money and to ensure their safety from defective vehicles.
To be considered a lemon in Florida, a car must undergo multiple, reasonable attempts to repair a problematic defect. If the issue remains, the car may be considered a lemon.
In Florida, what is considered “reasonable” falls under two presumptions:
  • The car is brought into the dealer for repair of the same issue three or more times
  • The car is in and out of a repair facility for 15 days or more for one or more recurring problems

Three or more times

If your car is still defective after three or more attempts to fix it, you can start the process of pursuing a refund or replacement under Florida’s lemon statute.
You’ll need to send written notice via certified mail to give the manufacturer one last chance to address and repair the problem. You’ll want to fill out and include the Motor Vehicle Defect Notification Form.
Upon receipt of your written notification, the manufacturer has 10 days to send your car to a reputable repair facility to address the issue and 10 days upon delivery to fix the problem.

15 days or more

If your car needs to be taken in for repair for one or more recurring problems for 15 days or more, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement.
In this case, send written notice to the manufacturer, via certified mail, and include Florida’s Motor Vehicle Defect Notification Form, linked above.
Upon receipt of your letter, the manufacturer is entitled to inspect the car and assess the recurring problems. If the car is out of service for 30 days or more, you may be entitled to relief under Florida’s lemon statute.
Key Takeaway If your defective vehicle has been in for repair for the same issue three or more times or has been taken in for repair for a recurring problem for 15 days or more, it may qualify as a lemon.

Is my defect covered under the lemon law?

In Florida, a car is covered under the state’s lemon statute if a defect or fault significantly hinders the vehicle’s safety, value, and use. The following common defects have been the basis of successful claims under Florida’s lemon statute:
  • Mechanical or electrical problems
  • Leaks
  • Faulty paint
Not everything is covered under Florida’s statute. The statute does not cover damage from accidents, damage resulting from abuse or neglect of the vehicle, or any modifications or alterations done by anyone other than the manufacturer or dealer.

Are used cars covered under the lemon law?

Used cars are not covered under Florida’s lemon statute. The lemon laws also don’t cover the following:
  • Trucks with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds
  • Off-road vehicles
  • Cars purchased with the intent to re-sell
  • Mopeds and motorcycles
  • A recreational vehicle’s living facilities
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How to pursue your lemon law rights in Florida

If you’re going to pursue a lemon law case in Florida, make sure you’re organized—collect any invoices and work orders from repairs. You may also want to consult a lawyer specializing in Florida’s lemon statute.
If reasonable attempts are made to fix your car but a defect persists, you’re entitled to pursue relief through arbitration. If your car’s manufacturer has an arbitration process, Florida law requires you to try that first. If you’re not satisfied with the result, you can then take your case to Florida’s Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board.

Manufacturer arbitration process

If your car’s manufacturer offers an arbitration process that is certified by the State of Florida, start here first. Check to see if your manufacturer offers a dispute resolution process in Florida.
Florida Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board
You can take your case to Florida’s Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board if you’re unhappy with the manufacturer’s dispute resolution process or decision or if the program fails to make a decision within 40 days.
You’ll need to fill out a request for arbitration form. Upon receipt of the form and a review of your case, the Attorney General’s office will decide upon its eligibility and, potentially, make a decision.
Key Takeaway If you’re unhappy with your manufacturer’s dispute resolution process, you can try your luck with arbitration at Florida’s Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board.

Lemon law tips

Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re thinking about pursuing a lemon law case in Florida:
  • Florida’s lemon statute doesn’t cover any modifications to your car nor a defective or nagging problem that is the result of your own negligence, abuse, or misuse of the vehicle
  • Make sure that all repairs (or attempted repairs) are made by professionals authorized by the dealer, and ideally done in manufacturer or dealership facilities
  • If you are unsure about how to proceed under Florida’s lemon statute, don’t hesitate to consult an attorney who will help guide you through the process

Finding cheap car insurance

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