Owning a BMW is synonymous with luxury, style, and high performance. However, what happens when your dream car turns out to be a lemon? A BMW lemon is a defective vehicle that continues to have problems even after multiple repair attempts. If you find yourself in this situation with your BMW, it’s important to know your legal options. In this article, we will discuss the steps to evaluate your legal options when dealing with a BMW lemon.
Understanding Lemon Laws
Lemon laws are statutes designed to protect consumers who unwittingly purchase defective vehicles. These laws differ from state to state, however, the general principle is the same. One consistency is if you have a lemon car, you may be entitled to compensation or a replacement vehicle. You may also qualify for the BMW buyback program depending on your car specifics.
Determining Lemon Status
The first step in evaluating your legal options is determining if your BMW qualifies as a lemon. Every state has its own lemon law and the criteria for qualification may vary. Here are some common factors to consider:
- Warranty Coverage: BMW lemon law requires that the vehicle be under warranty at the time the defect(s) occurred. It is important to review your warranty documentation. Also, make sure you understand its terms and duration.
- Substantial Defects: Lemon laws usually require that the vehicle has substantial defects. These defects must impair its use, safety, or value. In general, common defects that qualify include issues with the engine, transmission, brakes, and electrical systems. It could also be another component that affects the vehicle’s functionality.
- Repair Attempts: Lemon laws generally require that the defects must persist despite a reasonable number of repair attempts. The number of attempts required may vary, but it is commonly three or more repair attempts for the same issue. There is usually a certain time frame or mileage limit attached such as three years or 36,000 miles.
- Time Spent in Repair Shop: Some lemon laws consider the duration of time the vehicle has spent in the repair shop for the same issue. If your BMW lemon has been out of service for a significant period, such as 30 days or more, it may strengthen your lemon law claim.
Documenting the Defects
It is crucial to document all the defects and repair attempts related to your BMW lemon. Keep detailed records of dates and descriptions of the problems. You want to have records of the dealership’s name and contact information and even who worked on it. These records will strengthen your case and provide evidence of your efforts to resolve the issues.
When documenting the defects, be sure to include any written communication. This could either be with the manufacturer or dealer regarding the problems you’ve experienced. It can include emails, letters, calls or texts. Any correspondence that demonstrates your efforts to address the issues will help your case.
Seeking Manufacturer’s Assistance
Before pursuing legal action, it is generally recommended to give the manufacturer an opportunity to address the defects. Contact the BMW manufacturer or its authorized dealer to report the problems with your vehicle. Be sure to clearly communicate your concerns and request repairs within the warranty period.
The manufacturer or dealer will attempt to fix the defects within a specific timeframe. Failure to do so strengthens your case for a BMW lemon law buyback claim.
Consulting with an Attorney
Your BMW lemon may continue to have substantial defects even after repair attempts. This means it’s time to consult with a lemon law attorney. Lemon law cases can be complex, involving various legal requirements and deadlines. An experienced attorney will guide you through the process and evaluate your case in order to help you determine the best course of action.
During the consultation, provide your attorney with all relevant documents and records related to the defects and repair attempts. This information will enable them to assess the strength of your claim. With this, they will be able to advise you on the appropriate legal steps to take.
Filing a Lemon Law Claim
Your attempts to resolve the issues with the BMW manufacturer may be unsuccessful. This is when you would consult with an attorney and decide if it’s worth it to file a lemon law claim. However, the specific procedures for filing a claim may vary. It all depends on your state’s lemon law regulations.
Generally, filing a lemon law claim involves submitting a written complaint. This complaint is usually submitted to your state’s consumer protection agency. You would also submit it to the appropriate governing body responsible for handling lemon law disputes. The complaint should detail the defects and repair attempts and contain your dissatisfaction with the resolution attempts made by the manufacturer or authorized dealer.
If your BMW is determined to be a lemon, then your claim may be successful. As such, you become entitled to various remedies. These can include the following:
- Vehicle Repurchase: The manufacturer may be required to repurchase your lemon BMW. By doing so, they will refund the full purchase price. This includes the vehicle’s cost, taxes, and registration fees. It also involves any other associated expenses.
- Vehicle Replacement: The manufacturer may offer to replace your defective BMW with a comparable new vehicle. This replacement will be similar in model, miles, condition, etc. The biggest issue is you may end up with another defective BMW and no way to remedy the situation as you are unable to lemon the replacement.
- Cash Settlement: In some cases, the manufacturer may offer a cash settlement instead of a repurchase or replacement. This settlement is usually negotiated based on the diminished value of your lemon BMW. This solution keeps your warranty intact and allows you to later sell the vehicle without deeming it a lemon to the next buyer.
Dealing with a BMW lemon can be frustrating and disheartening. However, there are legal options available to protect your rights as a consumer. By understanding the lemon law in your state, you can answer the question “ Will BMW buy back my car ?” To do this right, you must document the defects and repair attempts. You must also seek the manufacturer’s assistance and consult with an attorney in order to get the maximum compensation available to you. Then you can go on to file a lemon law claim, evaluate your legal options, and take appropriate action.
Remember, it is important to consult with an experienced lemon law attorney. For your legal counsel, you can check out our lawyers at Quill and Arrow LLP. We know how best to help you navigate the complexities of the legal process effectively. In the end, we’ll increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Carlo V. DeFalco