What Are My Options For Action Under The Lemon Law?
If the manufacturer does not repair the defect, or if the repairs are unsuccessful, you have the following options:
- Manufacturer`s Arbitration Program: Although you are permitted to file a lawsuit under the Lemon Law, before you may do so the law requires that you first use the manufacturer`s dispute settlement program, as long as it complies with federal rules and regulations.
This dispute settlement process is an informal process consumers may use to obtain speedy resolution of a warranty dispute without having to go to court, and it is legally binding on the manufacturer. At an arbitration hearing, the seller and buyer testify before an arbitrator about the condition of the vehicle.
You can find out if your manufacturer sponsors a certified arbitration program by looking at the information in your owner`s manual or warranty materials, or by contacting the Consumer Affairs Division of the Alabama Office of the Attorney General.
- Court Action: If you have met the Lemon Law requirements listed above and are not satisfied with results from the manufacturer`s arbitration program, or if the manufacturer does not have an arbitration program that meets federal requirements and regulations, then you may go to court.
If you are seeking court action, you should consult an attorney; contact the Alabama Bar Association for a referral to an attorney who specializes in Lemon Law cases.
A lawsuit under the Alabama Lemon Law must be filed within three years of the original date of delivery, so don`t delay if you think you may need to go to court.
If a court determines that the manufacturer has breached its obligations imposed under the Lemon Law, then, in addition to remedies listed below under Possible Outcomes, you will be entitled to receive a reward for reasonable attorney fees.