Because Maryland has some of the toughest Lemon Laws, many dealers and manufacturers obey these laws, if a consumer can prove that the vehicle meets one of the three definitions of a “lemon.” However, if a dealer or manufacturer does not obey the law, filing a Lemon Law claim can be complex and overwhelming for the consumer.
In addition, many consumers may not be aware of other damages they may be entitled to under Maryland law. The Lemon Law attorneys of Pinder Plotkin LLC can help. Call 410-661-9440 for a free case review to learn about your rights and options regarding a defective motor vehicle.
What Can I Do If I Purchase a Vehicle That is a Lemon?
You may be entitled to receive a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price. However, you must remember that not every repair or problem constitutes a Lemon Law claim. The facts in your case must meet the requirements under the law for the court to force a dealer or manufacturer to replace or buy back a car that has problems.
For example, Maryland’s laws regarding the return or buyback of a defective vehicle only apply to new or leased vehicles with no more than 18,000 miles that were owned for less than 24 months. In addition, the dealer or manufacturer must be given a chance to correct the problem. In some cases, the company has several chances to correct the issue before you may have a valid Lemon Law claim. However, if the problem is a steering or braking failure, only one attempt to repair the failure is required to satisfy the elements of a claim under Maryland’s Lemon Laws.
Potential Damages in a Maryland Lemon Law Claim
If the dealer has attempted to repair the vehicle the required number of times, you need to notify the manufacturer, if you have not done so already. The manufacturer has 30 days to correct the issue, replace your vehicle, or repurchase your vehicle. If the manufacturer repurchases the vehicle, it is entitled to retain up to 15 percent of the purchase price as a fee for your use of the vehicle up to repurchase. You should also receive a refund of your excise tax from the Motor Vehicle Administration; however, you need to follow up with the MVA to ensure you receive your refund if the manufacturer repurchases the car.
In some cases, a manufacturer may attempt to settle the matter through mediation or arbitration. Before accepting any agreement to mediate or arbitrate your case, you should contact our Maryland Lemon Law attorneys. You do not want to be put into a situation in which you agree to pay one-half of the costs for mediation or arbitration. You also do not want to submit to binding arbitration because you want to retain other courses of action if you do not agree with the outcome of the arbitration.
A Maryland Lemon Law attorney can help you determine the best legal option for resolving the matter. After determining the best course of action, working directly with the manufacturer, mediation, arbitration, or filing a lawsuit, your attorney handles the matter for you. The attorney may retain an independent automotive expert to examine the vehicle or suggest non-binding arbitration as a first attempt at settlement to avoid litigation. However, our attorney will also be very careful to monitor all deadlines to ensure that a lawsuit is filed before the deadline if the manufacturer refuses to negotiate a fair and just settlement to your claim.
Some consumers may be entitled to receive additional compensation for damages. For example, if the manufacturer refused to act in good faith, the judge could order the vehicle maker to pay up to $10,000 in additional damages to the consumer. Findings of fraud, deceptions, or unfair trade practices could result in additional penalties and fines under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act. Also, if your attorney is required to file a lawsuit and the judge finds in your favor, the judge could also order the defendant to pay your attorney fees and costs of the action.
Because each case is unique, you may be entitled to additional damages for your claim. Contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney in Maryland is the best way to protect your legal rights and learn about your options.
Learn More About Lemon Laws from Our Parkville Lemon Law Attorneys
The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team can help you find a resolution to your Lemon Law claim. We represent clients throughout Maryland, including Parkville and Bel Air.
Contact our law firm at 410-661-9440 to request a free consultation with an experienced Parkville Lemon Law Attorney.
The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon. Contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a FREE consultation.