The Arbitration Process in the Lemon Law

Mar 3rd, 2009 | By webucation | Category: Lemon Law

The arbitration process in the lemon law is not that complicated compared to court trials. This is because a judge and a jury are not needed to decide on the matter. The individuals that will hear the case have an automotive and legal background so they know what details to look at in making a decision.

If you are the customer who wants arbitration, you need to complete the form, have copies of all the designated documents including the written request to the manufacture to get a refund or replacement, file for a request for arbitration within 1 to 2 years of the vehicle’s original delivery date and pay the filing fee. Should your request for arbitration be denied, a letter will be sent to you explaining why. If it is approved, the only thing to do now is show up on the date of the hearing.

Arbitration does not need counsel but if you are not comfortable, then you can hire someone. When the hearing begins, the arbitrator will ask which category of your claim is the lemon law based.

Is it a serious safety defect that has undergone at least 2 repair attempts, is it to repair a nonconformity that has had 4 attempts or is your claim based on the fact that your vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days?

Your claim can be based on one or more defects that have to be backed up by the documents like repair work and maintenance reports. These papers will show the exact nature of the problem, the mileage of the vehicle, the dates which the vehicle was in and out of the shop. You may also provide expert witnesses to testify in your behalf as this will bolster your claim.

Within a matter of days, the panel should already be able to come up with a judgment. If they rule in your favor, then chances are you will be given the choice whether to get a replacement vehicle or get a refund. The manufacturer can appeal this decision and you can also do the same if you are not happy.

If the appeal is denied, this is the only time that you can bring this matter to the court. You will have to get a lawyer for this so he or she can brief you on how this is done. The end result is the same because if you win, you can get your money back or another car.

Sometimes, the hearing will even happen if the manufacturer decides to contact you and makes you an offer. In fact, customers and manufacturers are encouraged rather than going through a hearing. Before you make a decision, you should see what they have to offer in writing before agreeing to anything.

Customers who decide to withdraw their claim can only do this once because you are not allowed to re-file later on the same grounds.

There are two kinds of arbitration when it comes to the lemon law. The first is the state sponsored while the second is a program set up by the manufacturer. You don’t have to go through the one organized by the manufacturer if it is not certified by the state so if the state sponsored one does not produce anything good, then it is time to settle this in court.

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