LEMON LAW ATTORNEYS IN SOUTHGATE, MICHIGAN
Is your vehicle needing constant repairs? Does it seem to be constantly in the shop or do you have continuous breakdowns, even after having it fixed? You may be driving a lemon and under state and Federal laws you could be entitled to significant compensation and 100% free legal representation.
When you buy a car/truck/motorcycle or vehicle you are provided with a manufacturer's warranty promising to repair the vehicle. You have a right to expect problems will be fixed efficiently and effectively. If your vehicle is in the shop for repeat repairs or for an extended period of time, contact us at MUSSIN & SCANLAND, PLLC to help you get your vehicle back on the road.
Michigan Lemon Law
The Lemon Law is a state law designed to protect consumers from vehicles sold to them with defects from the manufacturers. In short, after you have provided a reasonable number of repairs for the same defect or condition, if not resolved you may be entitled to compensation. Lemon laws vary from state to state so it is imperative that you contact an attorney who specializes in this area.
How to Navigate Michigan Lemon Law
Your warranty promises to repair defects in materials and workmanship to any part covered by the warranty. This includes extended warranties and covers problems or issues in many areas including:
Check Engine lights
Transmission shudder or jerking
Loss of power
Bluetooth and radio issues
Heating and Cooling
Under the Michigan Lemon Law and other state statutes, you may be entitled to:
Repurchase of your vehicle
Replacement of your vehicle
Significant Cash compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle
Michigan Lemon Law does not cover used vehicles. Instead, your used vehicle is covered by statutes such as the Uniform Commercial Code Breach of Warranty, the Magnusson Moss Warranty Act, the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, and the Michigan Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act. So while not technically covered by the Michigan Lemon Law, there are numerous laws that do cover you. Contact MUSSIN & SCANLAND, PLLC today for a free analysis of your claim.
What Qualifies as A Lemon?
Generally speaking, any product you purchase qualifies as a lemon. While the Michigan Lemon Law (MCL 257.1401) deals with motor vehicles there are other statutes that protect you regarding motorhomes, motorcycles, RV's, offroad vehicles, even your refrigerator. In lemon law cases, the lemon law is essentially a breach of warranty statute. Most new products are purchased with warranties. The warranty provided typically states that the product you bought will be free of defects in materials and workmanship. Once defects arise, you are obligated to provide the manufacturer with an opportunity to repair the vehicle. If after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the vehicle (or product) cannot be repaired, the warranty is deemed to have failed of its essential purpose, and you are entitled to compensation for this failure.
What Are My Lemon Law Rights?
You have a number of different rights. Under the Michigan Lemon Law, where defects in the vehicle cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the vehicle is presumed to be defective, and you are entitled to either a repurchase or replacement of the vehicle. Under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C 2301), essentially a federal lemon law that covers far more than just vehicles, this act provides remedies under the Uniform Commercial Code which can include cash settlements of diminished value, differences in the cost of repair, and incidental and consequential damages.
How Many Repairs Do I Need?
The Michigan lemon law provides that you must have presented the vehicle three (3) times. After the third time, you must provide a last chance repair opportunity to the manufacturer. If after the fourth (4th) repair, the defect remains, the vehicle is presumed to be a lemon. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, it can be as few as two (2) repairs to the vehicle that will entitle you to compensation. The number of repairs can be technical and in cases where you may think you do not have a lemon law claim, you likely do and it can be pursued under any number of different states. For example, even if the dealership writes on the repair order "No Problem Found" or "Could Not Duplicate" these are still repairs. In cases where the vehicle cannot be repaired or there is no repair at this time, this is a breach of the warranty and you'll need to call us to explain your rights in more detail.
How Many Days Out of Service Are Required?
There are no specific amount of days the vehicle needs to be out of service if you have multiple repair attempts. In cases where there are two or fewer repair attempts, or even on the first, under the Michigan Lemon Law, where a vehicle is out of service twenty-five (25) days by reason of repair, you must send the final repair notice to the manufacturer, at that point, the manufacturer then has an additional five (5) days to repair the vehicle. Thus, if after thirty (30) days out of service the vehicle remains defective, it is presumed to be a lemon.
How Much Will This Cost Me?
The Short Answer is nothing. We will NEVER charge you attorney fees for cases brought pursuant to the Michigan Lemon Law. The Michigan Lemon Law and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act are commonly called Consumer Protection Statutes or Fee-Shifting Statutes. Both statutes contain provisions that allow attorneys to seek the fees and costs from the defendant manufacturer upon successful resolution of the case.
The idea behind the fee-shifting nature of these statutes is to provide consumers with equal rights and bargaining powers when dealing with large corporations. This is done by putting pressure on the corporation in cases where attorney fees often far exceed the actual recovery to the consumer. Using an over-simplified example, if your toaster has a warranty and is defective after three repair attempts, the cost to hire an attorney to sue for a new toaster would far outweigh the purchase price. However, under a fee-shifting statute, the risk of attorney fees shifts to the manufacturer. While this applies in most lemon law cases, please contact us and make sure your case falls into this category.
Are Used Vehicle Covered?
Michigan does not have a Used Vehicle Lemon Law statute. In cases where a vehicle was sold "AS-IS" recovery is going to be difficult. In cases where the vehicle was or is covered by a warranty, including service contracts, then yes, you have rights and can pursue a claim. In these cases, typically the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act will cover you. We will also bring claims under the Uniform Commercial Code Breach of Warranty provisions, the Michigan Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act, and Michigan Consumer Protection Act, and any number of other statutes that may apply to your claim. Call us and find out what your remedies are. The consultation is free and we will likely be able to help you.
What Statutes Cover My Vehicle?
Typically it is not just one statute that covers your vehicle or your claims. In a Lemon law case claims can be brought under the following statutes:
The Michigan Lemon Law - The Michigan Lemon Law provides repurchase or replacement options for new vehicles that have been submitted for repair at least three (3) times or have been out of service for a total of thirty (30) days.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act - The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provides bite for state laws and the Uniform commercial code by expanding the rights and remedies to eligible consumers. Under the MMWA, protections will apply for new vehicles, used vehicles, motor homes, motorcycles, RV's, offroad vehicles, and other vehicles that do not fall under the Michigan Lemon Law. Remedies include repurchase, replacement, cash payments, and repairs.
The Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act - The Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act is designed to protect against incomplete, defective, or improper repairs to motor vehicles. It further expands and makes repair facilities accountable for certain actions and protections for consumers. The is act applies to all vehicles that are presented for service.
The Michigan Consumer Protection Act - The Michigan Consumer Protection Act applies against all vehicles and protects consumers from unfair or deceptive methods, acts, or practices. Common examples of its applications would be cases involving odometer fraud, rebuilt wrecks, flood vehicles, and similar deceptive practices.
Uniform Commercial Code - The U.C.C. provisions for Breach of Warranty provide recovery where manufacturers have failed to provide the remedies defined in the warranty provided. This typically involves recovery of the diminished value or sometimes the cost of repair and can include incidental and consequential damages.
Call us today to find out what protections you have.
Why Use Mussin & Scanland, PLLC?
In these types of cases, experience counts. Scott P. Mussin has worked in-house for one of the big three and as such, has an understanding and insight not available in other firms. Lemon Law cases are not easy and no single statute applies. In order to properly prove your case, you will need an experienced attorney to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each case, the potential defenses raised by manufacturers, and proper navigation through our court system. Finally, in most lemon law cases, our services are free, and it costs you nothing to have an experienced and aggressive attorney on your side.