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The Louisiana Lemon Law

The Louisiana lemon law gives you the right to claim compensation from the manufacturer of a defective motor vehicle that you purchased or leased.

What Vehicles Does the LA Lemon Law Cover?

The lemon law in Louisiana covers your new vehicle if you've owned or leased it for less than one year from the day of delivery to you, and you use it for personal, household or family uses.

The manufacturer must have made at least four repair attempts during this year-long period, with the defect still present after the fourth attempt. If the vehicle has been out of service for repairs for a total of 30 days within the year, then it's considered a lemon.

I Have a Louisiana Lemon. What Steps Do I Follow?

Once you reach the four repair attempts/30 days off the road threshold, write to the manufacturer with all the details of your claim. Collect all your notes, service orders, and work invoices, photocopy them, and include copies of them with your letter. Remember to photocopy your letter as well, keeping a copy for your records. Send the letter registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.

Mediation or Lemon Law Suit?

If the manufacturer has an informal dispute resolution procedure, and refuses to provide a refund or replacement unless you meet in mediation, you must use the procedure first before you can file a law suit via the Louisiana lemon law. The mediation decision is binding on the manufacturer, but not on you. If you don't agree with the decision, you can proceed with a suit.

If you do file a suit, I recommend that you consult with a lemon law attorney, a lawyer with experience dealing with the lemon law in Louisiana. The law provides that, if you win, you are entitled to recover reasonable lawyer's fees that you have incurred. Why not improve your chances of winning?

Refund or Replacement?

If your vehicle is a lemon, you're entitled to have it replaced or bought back by the manufacturer (in other words, you receive a refund). Unfortunately, you don't get to choose. The manufacturer can replace the lemon with a new vehicle of comparable value, or it can refund your purchase price. If it chooses a refund, you can collect all costs on the original sales invoice, including dealer-installed options, plus collateral costs (license and registration, etc.).

The manufacturer will deduct a reasonable use fee, which covers the miles you drove prior to first reporting the defect. This is a very good reason for reporting any problems as soon as they occur. You'll never know when something will turn out to be a serious defect.

Louisiana Lemon Law Summary

The lemon law in Louisiana offers protection for one year from the date you took delivery of your vehicle. If the defect is still present after four repair attempts, or you've been without the vehicle for a total of 30 days, you're eligible for compensation.

Start early, as the reasonable use deduction is based on when you first report the defect to the dealer/manufacturer. Be thorough in your documentation and you should receive your refund or replacement without having to resort to a law suit.

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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