When West Virginia residents purchase new or pre-owned vehicles with warranties, they expect that they will work. Unfortunately, however, even some new vehicles have ongoing mechanical problems despite repeated attempts to repair them. When a vehicle under warranty has a nonconforming defect, the owner might have grounds to file a lemon law claim. Some of the requirements are detailed below.
What are the criteria for lemon law claims?
West Virginia’s lemon law covers new or pre-owned vehicles that are purchased with warranties. Under the law, consumers are protected if they purchase a vehicle that has a mechanical issue that happens during the first 12 months of ownership and still continues to exist after three repair attempts completed by a dealership. The mechanical problem also must either cause a substantial decrease in the vehicle’s value or prevent the owner from being able to drive it. The lemon law will also cover situations in which a vehicle has been in the shop for at least 30 days during the first year, and the days do not need to be consecutive. If a vehicle has a defect that could potentially cause death or serious injury that is not fixed after the first repair attempt, it will also be covered by the lemon law.
Records to support a claim
To support a lemon law claim, keeping the following types of records can be helpful:
- Detailed invoice describing the problem from the dealership after an inspection and repair attempt
- All receipts for repairs
- Log of each repair attempt with dates and descriptions of any issues that continued after the repairs
- Vehicle warranty
- Vehicle purchase records
West Virginia’s lemon law offers important protections for people who purchase vehicles that have persistent mechanical problems or defects. People who have ongoing problems with their new or pre-owned vehicles within their first year of ownership might want to talk to an experienced attorney. By filing a claim, people might recover the purchase price they paid, their repair costs, and other damages to cover their losses caused by the vehicle defect or mechanical issue.