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Assistive Device Lemon Laws

Most Assistive Devices Still Under Warranty Are Covered

Assistive device lemon laws begin with the federal lemon law, or Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. As long as the assistive device comes with a warranty, and is still covered by that warranty (it hasn't expired), the device is covered by the federal lemon law.

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With more people living longer, states are now enacting their own assistive device lemon laws. The original intent was for the law to cover motorized wheelchairs, but it became necessary to extend this law to cover other types of assistive devices.

The laws cover almost anything that is considered helpful when it comes to the elderly and disabled. This can cover special telephones, hearing aids, computers and walkers as well as wheelchairs and motorized scooters.

What Do the Assistive Device
Lemon Laws Cover?

If there is a problem with the assistive device and it cannot provide the duties for which it was intended for 30 days during a year, the law considers it a lemon.

This also applies to having it repaired 2 to 4 times within this period. The manufacturer would then be required to replace the product with another of the same type or to refund the price paid for the assistive device.

Assistive devices are covered whether you purchase or lease them. They have to perform their intended purpose or they're considered lemons.

The federal lemon law covers most of the products used by consumers. In addition to this law, there is the state consumer protection law that regulates what manufacturers and retailers can and cannot do when it comes to the consumer. Any transactions that are deemed unfair are not allowed as are ones that are outright deceiving.

Lemons Laws Specific to
Defective Assistive Devices

There are some in the professional world that have taken a position that the assistive device lemon laws are not going to be used for the intended purpose. They are concerned that people will abuse the law and use it for getting repairs or adjustments on items such as hearing aids that may only need shell modification or adjustments.

However, some states have a provision for this. The state of Rhode Island is one. A part of their law states that the conditions for a lemon law complaint do not include the normal wear and tear of a device that can be maintained through proper care, cleaning or adjustments. As more states add provisions to their laws, this should not be a worry.

One thing most states do agree on is that if the device is a safety hazard that could cause serious bodily injury, the consumer does not have to allow the manufacturer the chance to fix it three or four times. The first repair attempt is sufficient.

Since assistive devices, by their very definition, are used to help someone in his or her daily life, a defective assistive product can be the cause of a serious, perhaps life-threatening accident. The manufacturer of a lemon device is putting itself at risk when a defective product is purchased and used by an unsuspecting consumer.

A product purchased should be used for a specific period of time without the need for repairs constantly. Assistive device lemon laws are meant to cover the defective products in order to protect the rights of the elderly and disabled.

NOTE:The information here is not legal advice and is only presented to you so you can know your options if you purchased a lemon. As with any legal issue, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.


 

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