A vehicle purchase is often the second largest investment in a person's life. Wisconsin has laws and procedures in place to protect this investment. Similarly, warranties are also provided with vehicles to protect consumers. An experienced attorney can guide you through the procedures and advise you on whether your vehicle is eligible for relief.
Wisconsin's Lemon Law, one of the strongest in the country, has now provided protection for Wisconsin consumers for over 24 years. Signed into law on November 3, 1983, it protects new car, motorcycle, truck, semi-truck, and motor home buyers by stating that a manufacturer must refund or replace a new vehicle if it turns out to be a "lemon".
Obtaining relief under the lemon law is a procedure that must be followed carefully. An attorney can be helpful in determining whether you have a lemon law claim and to guide you through the lemon law process. Our office has handled hundreds of lemon law and warranty litigation cases and is experienced in litigating these types of cases throughout the State of Wisconsin.
Under the law, a vehicle is considered a lemon if it has one or more defects that substantially impair its use, value or safety. Such defects must be covered by warranty, and problems must occur in the first year of the warranty coverage. Although defects and repair attempts must occur in the first year, vehicle owners have up to several years after that to file a lawsuit.
While every state has a lemon law, the strength of these laws vary greatly. Wisconsin's Lemon Law is stronger than most and has a number of unique features.
▪ The law provides for double damages if a consumer wins a Lemon Law case in court.
▪ The law provides for the manufacturer to pay actual attorney fees and costs if the consumer prevails.
▪ The Wisconsin Lemon Law covers commercial vehicles. In many states, large commercial trucks have no protection.
▪ There is no mileage limitation.
▪ There is no express statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit.
▪ The law requires arbitration boards that have been certified by the state to strictly apply the lemon law to their decisions.
▪ Titles of "lemon" vehicles are branded "manufacturer buyback vehicle" making them more easily identifiable.
A consumer whose vehicle meets the definition of a lemon, having a substantial defect or condition, four repair attempts for the same problem or 30 days out of service for a variety of problems, needs to first contact the manufacturer to request a refund or replacement. The manufacturer has 30 days to respond. If the manufacturer does not respond or offer a refund or replacement vehicle, the consumer has a private right of action to sue the manufacturer in court. A consumer who wins a Lemon law suit will be awarded double damages, plus other costs and attorney fees.
Wisconsin Lemon Aid is a web site dedicated to the trust of the consumer. This site serves as a information source for consumers that are experiencing difficulties in "Lemon Law" issues.
sources : http://www.wisconsinlemonaid.com/