Virginia Lemon Law
It’s exciting to buy a new car, and devastating to discover that the new car you bought is defective. Virginia has a lemon law that can help you get justice. Here’s a synopsis of the law:
New cars: Yes
Used cars: No
Business vehicles: No
Leased vehicles: Yes
Lemon law period: 18 months
What is a Lemon Car Under Virginia Law?
Virginia lemon law covers new passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, trucks, and motorcycles that are purchased in Virginia. It also covers motorcycles and the chassis of motor homes and mopeds, as well as demonstrators and lease-purchase vehicles. In order to be considered a “lemon,” the vehicle must meet the following requirements:
- Does not conform to the manufacturer’s express warranty
Has substantial defects affecting the use, safety, or value of the vehicle
- Has manufacturer’s defects that occurred during the first 18 months from the delivery date
- Has been taken in one time for a serious safety defect, three times for the same problem, or has been out of service for a cumulative total of 30 calendar days
- If the problem is a serious safety defect, it has been taken in one time for repair
- The manufacturer or dealer has been notified in writing of the defect within 18 months from the delivery date and has been given one final opportunity to fix the problem
- The vehicle is used for personal, family, or household purposes
Virginia Code, Chapter 17.3 is the state’s lemon law.
Getting Lemon Justice: Virginia Lemon Law Relief
Virginia lemon law provides several options for a successful lemon law claimant. First, you may be awarded a replacement vehicle of the same year, make, and model. You may also qualify for a monetary award, which can include:
- The full purchase price
- Sales tax
- License fees
- Registration fees
- Title fees
- Finance charges and interest
- Transportation charges
- Dealer preparation charges
- Service contracts
- Installed options
- Attorney’s fees
The amount of the monetary reward may be reduced by a deduction for your use of the vehicle, which can’t exceed one-half of the amount allowed per mile by the Internal Revenue Service, plus any damage beyond normal wear and tear.
Pursuing a VA Lemon Law Claim
If you want to pursue a claim under Virginia’s lemon law, you must first send a notification to the manufacturer or dealer. Send your letter by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. Here’s a sample demand letter that you can adapt for your use. The manufacturer has a maximum of 15 days to make a final repair attempt.
You may also participate in the manufacturer’s informal dispute resolution process before filing a lemon law claim in court, but it is your choice. If you participate in the manufacturer’s arbitration program and you win, the manufacturer has 40 days from your acceptance of the decision to comply. If the manufacturer doesn’t comply, the court can award you triple the damages.
If you participate and arbitration, you can still file a lawsuit in court. According to the law, you have one year from the manufacturer’s final action to file suit.
How We Can Help
Wherever you are in the lemon law claim process, we’re happy to help. Whether you need help gathering the material documenting your lemon, submitting the final demand letter, negotiating a settlement, or appealing the arbitration decision, Lemberg Law will be at your side every step of the way.
Helping consumers is what we do. We’ve helped more than 12,000 people recover more than $35 million. You can read more about us here.
Remember that vehicle manufacturers have teams of lawyers that do nothing but fight lemon law claims. Lemon laws try to level playing field by forcing automakers to pay the consumer’s attorney fees in successful lemon law claims. That’s why our representation won’t cost you a dime.
There’s a limited window of opportunity for filing a lemon law claim. If you suspect you have a Virginia lemon, give us a call today. We understand your frustration, and will do our best to deliver the justice you deserve.