Should The Attorney General Be The First Stop For A Lemon Law Claim?
It’s happened twice this week. A distressed driver calls us to discuss a repeated problem they have been having with their car and prior to calling us, they reached out to their State Attorney General. In both cases, the representative who answered the phone at the AG’s office told them they did not have a claim. But, guess what? They did. One even had a claim which falls under Lemon Law parameters and has resulted in other consumers receiving full repurchases for the exact same problem. Needless to say, these drivers were happy they called us.
We want to make it clear we have nothing against the Attorney General’s office. In fact, if we cannot help someone under the laws we work with, we often refer clients to the AG’s office to ensure that there is no other avenue for recourse. There is one State Attorney General office that regularly refers clients to us and we worked hand-in-hand with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office back in 2001 to rewrite the PA Lemon Law. These are hard-working people who tackle a large workload for the benefits of their constituents. But, they are generalists–they do not handle Lemon Law claims routinely and they have been known frequently to give incorrect information. Most notably, we have seen repeated instances of the AG’s office not telling consumers that even though they do not have a Lemon law claim, they may still be entitled to significant remedy under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.
In addition, certain states actually charge a consumers a fee to file their Lemon Law claims through the Attorney General and if they lose, the decision is binding, meaning the consumer is actually losing all of their rights. In these settings, the consumer is going up unrepresented against manufacturer counsel with no real knowledge of the statutes, no expert mechanics, no case law, and they stand to lose all of their rights–how is this fair? And why would any consumer choose to go this route alone when the Lemon Law purposely provides fee-shifting provisions where consumers can have experienced Lemon Law Lawyers and expert mechanics at their disposal at absolutely no cost to them?
If you think you have a Lemon Law claim or breach of warranty claim, reach out to a Lemon Law Attorney in your state and hear what they have to say first. And if they offer 100% free legal representation using the fee-shifting provisions, take advantage of it. You have absolutely nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain!