What Are My Options For Action Under The Lemon Law?
If manufacturer either fails to make a final attempt to repair the defect, or if the defect still exists after such an attempt, you may seek to receive a replacement vehicle or a refund via the following options:
- Manufacturer`s Arbitration Program: If the manufacturer has a dispute settlement procedure that complies with Federal Trade Commission regulations, you must utilize such a procedure before you may file a lawsuit under the Lemon Law.
Arbitration, also known as informal dispute settlement, is an informal process that 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 only. At an arbitration hearing, the seller and buyer testify before an arbitrator about the condition of the vehicle.
You can find out if the manufacturer of your vehicle sponsors an arbitration program that is certified in the state of South Dakota by reading the information accompanying your warranties, by asking your local dealer or zone representative, or by contacting the Office of the Attorney General.
If you use an arbitration program, the decision reached through this program is not binding on you; this means that if you are not satisfied with the decision, you may appeal it in court. However, any prior arbitration decision may be considered at any subsequent court proceeding.
Court Action: If you have met the requirements listed above of this Lemon Law and if you reject the manufacturer`s dispute resolution program`s decision(s), your other option is going to court.
If you are seeking court action, you should consult with an attorney; you may find referrals for attorneys who specialize in Lemon Law cases by contacting the South Dakota State Bar Association.
Before filing a lawsuit, you must send written notice to the manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested, and offer the manufacturer one final opportunity to repair the defect.