Most manufacturers have developed an informal dispute resolution process which is triggered by the written notice from the consumer. Under the rules and regulations, the manufacturer has 40 days respond to the written complaint and render a decision. The manufacturer`s representative may meet with the consumer by telephone or in person, if both parties agree to do so before rendering a decision. The manufacturer may delay a decision if the consumer failed to provide necessary information in the written notice. If the manufacturer and consumer settle the dispute or come to an agreement and agree on specified reasonable time for performing the agreement, then that is the end of the matter.
If there is no agreement or settlement, or if the manufacturer has no informal dispute resolution process, a consumer may sue the manufacturer of the vehicle in a state court to get a refund or a replacement vehicle. The consumer must hire a private attorney to represent him or her in a lawsuit, if he or she wants legal representation. If the consumer proves in court that his or her vehicle is a lemon, a judge may order the manufacturer to refund the full purchase price including sales tax, license and registration fees, less a reasonable allowance for use of the vehicle by the consumer. A consumer who wins may also be awarded reasonable attorney`s fees by the court.
In defense of a lemon law claim by a consumer, a manufacturer is allowed to argue that the problem does not substantially impair the use or market value of the vehicle or that the problem is a result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications of the vehicle by the consumer.