D.C. Lemon Law FAQ
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- How does the Washington D.C. Lemon Law work?
- Does a problem always need to occur four times to be considered a lemon?
- What happens if I fall outside the 24 months/18,000 miles before my first problem exists? Does this mean I do not have a claim?
- How does this law offer cost-free representation?
- Are leased cars covered under the DC Lemon Law?
- Are motorcycles covered under the DC Lemon Law?
- I have had my car for only a few days and already I am having problems with it. Can I just return it to the dealership
- Are used cars covered under this Lemon Law?
- I have so many more questions about the Washington D.C. Lemon Law. Who can I ask?
How does the Washington D.C. Lemon Law work?
The Washington D.C. Lemon Law covers drivers whose vehicles suffer a nonconformity or defect within the first 24 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first, that can't be repaired after repeated attempts (normally four) by the manufacturers authorized dealership.
Click here to review the Washington D.C. Lemon Law Statute.
Does a problem always need to occur four times to be considered a lemon?
Not necessarily. If your car is in the shop 30 days or more in the first year, consecutive or not, we can file a claim under the Law.
Likewise, if you are experiencing paint problems, the same kind of problem (electrical, water leak in the back versus water leak in the front, front brakes and then back brakes and then front brakes again), or if it is a significant problem that has occurred twice, we welcome you to submit your information for our consideration.
We handle each case separately and we have made exceptions in the past.
What happens if I fall outside the 24 months/18,000 miles before my first problem exists? Does this mean I do not have a claim?
No. If you are having continuous problems and your car is under a manufacturer's warranty, we can still help under the Federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. Please let us know about your repairs and we will have someone from our firm contact you and explain your rights. The representation is still completely cost-free.
How does this law offer cost-free representation?
The Washington D.C. Lemon Law contains a fee-shifting provision which means that if the consumer prevails, the manufacturer must pay all attorney fees and legal costs on top of what you receive.
If you submit a claim to Kimmel & Silverman and we accept your case, you will not pay anything out of pocket, win or lose. The fee-shifting provision gives you equal footing when battling against a multi-billion dollar automobile manufacturer.
Are leased cars covered under the DC Lemon Law?
Yes. The Washington D.C. Lemon Law covers all cars sold, leased or registered in the state.
Are motorcycles covered under the DC Lemon Law?
No, but we ARE representing Washington D.C. Motorcycle Drivers through the Federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act, so if you are experiencing problems with your bike, please do not hesitate to submit your information for our review.
We have successfully handled many motorcycle breach of warranty cases throughout the state and we offer the same cost-free representation as we do under the Lemon Law.
I have had my car for only a few days and already I am having problems with it. Can I just return it to the dealership?
No. Problems can occur immediately, but if you are interested in opening a Lemon Law claim, you must follow proper procedures. That means making an appointment to have your car examined and repaired, and securing a repair invoice when you pick up your car. Make sure the invoice properly outlines all of the problems you disclosed to the service manager.
We also suggest you keep a personal log of your repair visits and PLEASE HOLD ON TO THE INVOICES. This does not mean that we can't help you if you don't have the invoices (we can subpoena them if necessary) but it does make your case move along smoother.
DO NOT JUST DROP OFF YOUR CAR AND KEYS AT A DEALER AND SAY "I DON'T WANT THIS CAR ANYMORE." THEY COULD COUNT IT AS A VOLUNTARY REPOSSESION AND IT COULD NEGATIVELY AFFECT YOUR CREDIT! IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS, CONSULT A CONSUMER ATTORNEY, BE IT US OR SOMEONE ELSE.
Are used cars covered under the Washington D.C. Lemon Law?
Unfortunately, most used cars are not covered under the Lemon Law, but hold on... don't get discouraged yet ...If you have a manufacturer's warranty, original or extended, we can still help you under the aforementioned Magnuson–Moss Act. Also, if a dealer misrepresents a car at the time of sale, you may have rights under the Unfair Trade Practices Act. We encourage you to contact us to find out if and how we can be of assistance in these matters.