Educational Consumer Tips


Author: Better Business Bureau

A question asked of the BBB often is "How do I go about filing a complaint under the Lemon Law?"

First it is important to note, the law does NOT pertain to used cars. The law, which went into effect October 1, 1983, specifies that if the new car you bought has been subject of repair four or more times by the manufacturer or dealer within the first year warranty period for the same alleged defect, or the vehicle has been out of service for repairs for a cumulative total of 30 or more days, then you have the right to ask for a new car or your money back. You must give the dealer reasonable time to fix the defect.

Another way to possibly resolve your auto problems is the BBB AUTO LINE. Some automotive manufacturers, such as GM, have pledged to mediate and/or arbitrate any unresolved disputes on their automobiles that involve the warranty, alleged manufacturer responsibility, or alleged factory defect, within certain limits. Going through the Lemon Law
could take up to 18 months and the BBB AUTO LINE program promises a 40-day time limit. The customer is not bound by the decision of the arbitrator in the AUTO LINE program unless he/she accepts the decision. If the decision is rejected, the consumer can go to an attorney or through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Texas Lemon Law is only for automobiles that are within the original manufacturer's warranty period or 1-year old. To complain, you may write to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, 815 Brazos, #302, Austin, TX 78701 or call (512) 476-3587. The BBB AUTO LINE service is available to you if you own a vehicle manufactured by: Acura, AM General, Audi, Bentley (Rolls-Royce), Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC Truck, Honda, Hyundai, Indian Motorcycle, Infiniti, Isuzu, Kia, Land Rover, Lincoln, Lotus, Mazda, Mercury, Nissan, Saab, smart USA, Volkswagen, or Workhorse Custom Chassis. Call (800) 955-5100 for more information.