What You Need To Know About North Carolina’s Lemon Law
As an experienced North Carolina Lemon Law attorney, I see firsthand every day how unscrupulous manufacturers take advantage of people by refusing to replace defective automobiles because these people are not aware of their protections under the law. My practice is devoted to helping people understand their legal rights and fighting back against the manufacturers.
Does my vehicle qualify under the North Carolina Lemon Law?
Under the North Carolina Lemon Law, a vehicle qualifies for replacement or repurchase when it has a defect that substantially impairs its value and that the manufacturer has been unable to repair after a reasonable number of attempts. The defect must occur within the warranty period and the first 24 months or 24,000 miles of ownership, whichever occurs first. The two years or 24,000 miles is not a deadline for bringing the case, just the time period when the first defect has to occur.
What is a “reasonable number of attempts” under the North Carolina Lemon Law?
A manufacturer must have had the opportunity to repair your vehicle four times and must be given written notice that the fourth repair attempt is the final repair. Alternatively, this can be met if the vehicle has been out of service for repairs for 20 or more cumulative business days during a one year period of the warranty.
If my vehicle qualifies, what could I be entitled to under the Lemon Law?
A consumer has the choice of replacement or refund/repurchase/buyback. A refund/repurchase/buyback includes the contract price of the vehicle, sales taxes and doc fees, as well as finance charges (interest.) The manufacturer is also allowed to deduct for a limited amount of mileage according to a formula within the Lemon Law statute. In other instances, the manufacturer may instead offer you a cash settlement to compensate you any loss in value that the vehicle suffers as a result of its defects.
What are some common tactics manufacturers use to avoid liability under the North Carolina Lemon Law?
Many times, a manufacturer and their dealership will state that they “could not duplicate” the problem. Manufacturers will also try to deny that a reasonable number of repair attempts have been made, even if your car has been in five or six times for the same issue(s). They will also claim that the specific defect never existed, that it is a “normal operating condition” rather than a defect, that the defect isn’t substantial enough to warrant Lemon Law relief or that the same defect was not addressed in each repair attempt.
Does the North Carolina Lemon Law apply to used or leased vehicles?
The law does not apply to used vehicles. It does apply to vehicles that are leased. Used vehicles may qualify under other warranty laws if they are still under portions of the manufacturer warranty. Please call me for more information.
How long does the process take?
Many cases will reach a resolution within 45-90 days. However, if the manufacturer refuses to take a reasonable position, a lawsuit may be required and expand the timeline.
How much will this cost me? How do you get paid?
The lemon laws contain “fee-shifting provisions,” meaning that the manufacturer may be responsible for my attorney fees. Because of this, I charge nothing up front or out of pocket. The only way in which my firm is paid is if I recover on your claim. If for any reason I am unable to recover on your claim, you are still not responsible to me for anything!
Contact My Car Manufacturer Liability Law
I am here to answer your questions about warranties for defective cars and to help you recover what you are entitled to under the North Carolina Lemon Law. Call 919-719-7214 or contact me online today to schedule a free initial consultation.