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Common Myths Surrounding the Lemon Law in Florida

If you recently purchased or leased a car only to discover it has one problem after another, you may be wondering what is the lemon law in Florida. The lemon law provides important protections for consumers who end up with seriously defective vehicles. However, there are also a lot of myths and misunderstandings out there about exactly what it does and does not cover. Here are some common lemon law myths you need to know.

Myth 1: What Vehicles Are Covered

A big myth is that the lemon law only covers new vehicles. The truth is that in Florida, both new and used vehicles with significant defects can qualify for lemon law protection. The law has different eligibility rules depending on whether you purchased or leased a new or used vehicle. But it is important to understand that you do still have rights even if your vehicle wasn’t brand new.

Myth 2: How Many Repair Attempts Are Needed

Another common myth is that you need to have had a certain number of repair attempts before qualifying under the lemon law. But Florida’s lemon law does not specify a minimum number of tries the manufacturer must have to fix your vehicle before it can be declared a lemon. Rather, it uses a performance standard, meaning the central question is whether or not the vehicle meets reasonable expectations for dependability and reliability after enough repair attempts.

Myth 3: Days Out of Service Required

There is also a myth that lemon vehicles must have been out of service for a minimum number of days for repairs before the law offers protection. But again, Florida looks to whether you have given the manufacturer enough chances to fix substantial defects rather than counting days in the repair shop. Having said that, the more days your vehicle is out of service, the stronger your case.

Myth 4: Manufacturer Buyback Value

One big area of confusion is around how much money you can get back under the lemon law if your claim is successful. Many consumers think there is some kind of formula for calculating buyback amounts. But Florida’s lemon law simply provides for manufacturers to refund you the vehicle’s purchase price minus an allowance for use. There is no standard formula. The law just directs how items like fees and payments made should be handled.

Myth 5: Coverage of Small Defects

Since the lemon law talks about “substantial” defects, some assume vehicles with only minor problems won’t qualify. But in Florida, a defect doesn’t necessarily have to be massive for the law to offer protection. Instead, small defects can qualify if they significantly hinder use, value, or safety. So don’t assume the law excludes you just because your vehicle’s issues seem comparatively minor.

Myth 6: Use of Lawyers Required

Finally, one really big myth is that you need to hire a lemon law lawyer to pursue your rights under the law. While having a qualified attorney helps smooth the process and strengthen your case, the Florida lemon law is written in a way that allows consumers to pursue claims on their own through the Better Business Bureau’s low-cost arbitration system. So if finances are tight, know that you can still try for compensation without formal legal representation.

As you can see, while Florida’s lemon law provides important rights, there are also many misunderstandings floating around about precisely what it does and does not do. Before deciding if and how to proceed with a claim, learn the facts, so myths don’t trip you up. Understanding the protections properly allows you to take full advantage as a consumer.

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