Washington Lemon Law
If you are having car problems, there are two key vehicle warranty laws that might entitle you to relief.
First, the Washington Lemon Law protects consumers who buy or lease motor vehicles, including demonstration vehicles, certain motorcycles, and motor homes. The Washington Lemon Law also covers some used motor vehicles bought with less than 24,000 miles and within 2 years from the original sale or lease date.
The Washington Lemon Law applies to 2 kinds of defects: (1) serious safety defects (life threatening vehicle problems) and (2) defects that substantially impair a car or truck’s use, value, or safety.
A vehicle may be a “lemon” if it has one or more qualifying defects that have undergone a reasonable number of attempts to diagnose or repair the vehicle. Under the Washington Lemon Law, a car or truck is subject to “a reasonable number of attempts” if:
- The vehicle undergoes at least two (2) attempts to diagnose or repair a serious safety defect (at least once during the manufacturer’s warranty period and the Lemon Law eligibility period) and the defect continues to exist;
- The vehicle has two (2) or more different serious safety defects that occur within a 12-month period. Each such defect must undergo diagnosis or repair at least once during the manufacturer’s warranty period and the eligibility period;
- The vehicle undergoes at least four (4) attempts to diagnose or repair a defect (at least once during the manufacturer’s warranty and the eligibility period) and the nonconformity continues to exist; or
- The vehicle is out of service a cumulative total of thirty (30) or more calendar days for diagnosis or repair of one or more defects or serious safety defects (at least 15 days during the manufacturer’s warranty period and the eligibility period).
The Washington State Lemon Law defines “eligibility period” as 2 years from the original delivery or 24,000 miles of use, whichever occurs first.
To seek relief under the Washington Lemon Law, a consumer who meets the law’s various requirements must send a written request to the manufacturer for a repurchase or replacement. If the manufacturer does not respond or does not provide a satisfactory response within 40 days, then the consumer may submit a claim to the state’s lemon law arbitration board. Claims under the Washington Lemon Law must be submitted to the state-run arbitration program within 30 months of the original sale.
Second, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, commonly known as the “Federal Lemon Law,” protects consumers who buy or lease motor vehicles—as well as many other consumer products. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act applies to cars or trucks that exhibit problems during the manufacturer’s warranty period—including used vehicles still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a consumer may have a claim if a manufacturer fails to fix a vehicle after having a reasonable time to do so. Therefore, even if your car or truck does not meet all the requirements of the Washington Lemon Law, you still may be entitled to relief under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
If your car or truck meets the requirements under applicable state or federal law, you may be entitled to a refund, a replacement vehicle, or a cash settlement. State and federal vehicle warranty laws also allow for the recovery of attorney fees and costs under certain circumstances.
Cities We Serve
We’ve helped people resolve their car problems in the following cities…and more! Don’t worry, if you don’t see your city on the list we can help anywhere in the state of Washington…and beyond! Call us today so we can add your hometown to the list.
Nine Mile Falls
FREE Case Review
With just a few pieces of information you’ll know instantly whether or not you may have a viable Lemon Law claim against the manufacturer of your vehicle. Please take a moment to see if we might be able to help, and remember, we always seek our fees directly from the manufacturer so there is never any cost to you for our services.