West Virginia Lemon Law
Under the West Virginia lemon law, a consumer who purchases an unreliable passenger vehicle (known as a lemon) may file a claim to request a replacement automobile or a full refund if he or she does so within one year of purchasing the vehicle from a dealer.
Under the law, a consumer may also choose to file a claim before the vehicle warranty expires. To receive compensation under this law, however, the vehicle must be new.
Moreover, a lemon law attorney can help to simplify the process of filing a claim If consumers wish to obtain legal assistance at any time throughout the process.
Attorneys can help to communicate with the dealer, negotiate any settlements with the manufacturer, and prepare documentation for the court case. Additionally, the manufacturer is generally responsible for paying any reasonable lawyer’s fees.
To learn more about the new car lemon law in WV, West Virginia drivers dealing with the car buying process can review the information below.
What is the Lemon Law in West Virginia?
Consumers may wonder, “What is the lemon law definition in West Virginia according to state regulations?” when purchasing a car.
Under the West Virginia Legislature, those who purchase new Class A or B vehicles such as cars, vans, motorhomes or pickup trucks may obtain a replacement automobile if their vehicle develops a major defect that affects its use or market value within a certain period of time.
Under this law, the defect must develop while the vehicle’s warranty is still in effect or within one year from the date in which the consumer received the automobile from the dealer, depending on whichever period is longer.
Before providing consumers with a refund or replacement, however, the manufacturer or authorized dealer must first attempt to repair the vehicle or correct the defect.
If the vehicle cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer must provide consumers with a comparable new automobile. Under these West Virginia fault car laws, three or more repairs are typically deemed reasonable.
If the vehicle’s defect is so severe that driving it could result in the injury or death of the consumer, however, one repair is deemed reasonable.
As part of the state lemon law, consumers may also qualify for a replacement vehicle if their automobile is in for repairs and “out of service” for at least 30 consecutive or nonconsecutive calendar days within the vehicle’s first year of operation.
Does the West Virginia Lemon Law apply to used cars?
There is no used car lemon law in West Virginia, as these regulations only pertain to new vehicles.
If the original purchaser completes the title transfer process and places the title certificate into the name of another motorist while its express warranty is in effect, however, the new buyer may qualify for a suitable replacement.
How does the Lemon Law work in West Virginia?
Consumers may qualify for the lemon law warranty in WV if their new vehicle is defective and there are ongoing issues with its brakes, engine or transmission.
To obtain a replacement vehicle, however, consumers must notify the manufacturer in writing by sending them a written complaint. To do so, they must refer to their vehicle’s ownership manual for additional information, including a mailing address.
Then, manufacturers must attempt to fix the vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts before they may provide consumers with compensation or a suitable replacement.
West Virginia Lemon Law Lawyers
Under the new car lemon law in WV, consumers may hire an attorney to assist them in filing a civil suit against the vehicle’s manufacturer at any time throughout the process.
Consumers may also choose to hire a lawyer if they request a refund or replacement vehicle but do not hear back from the manufacturer. With the help of a lemon law lawyer, for instance, the manufacturer will generally need to pay for the following:
- Any reasonable lawyer’s fees
- A full vehicle refund, including the total purchase price of the automobile as well as sales tax and any licensing and vehicle registration fees
- The cost of the vehicle’s repairs
- Additional expenses due to loss of vehicle use
Additional New and Used Car Laws in West Virginia
Under the WV lemon law buyback program, defective motor vehicles cannot be resold in the state unless the manufacturer corrects the issue and notifies future buyers.
For instance, the manufacturer must provide future buyers with a written statement that explains the situation as well as the vehicle’s inability to conform to the terms of the manufacturer’s express warranty.
How to Tell if Your New Car Is a Lemon
While each state lemon law differs slightly, several vehicles are commonly known as lemons. For instance, the Chevrolet Silverado and Cruze, the Ford Focus and Escape, the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee, and the GMC Acadia and Dodge Challenger are commonly reported lemons.
To determine whether your new vehicle is a lemon, consider the following:
- Did you buy the vehicle brand-new, or is it still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty?
- Does the vehicle have reoccurring problems?
- Has your vehicle been serviced multiple times within a short period?
- Has your vehicle been “out of service” for anywhere between 25 to 35 consecutive or nonconsecutive days since you purchased it?
If your vehicle meets the above conditions, it may be a lemon. For additional information about the WV lemon law or to learn more about filing a claim, refer to your vehicle’s ownership manual.