If a consumer purchases a vehicle that is later discovered to be defective, that consumer may be entitled to protection under Virginia’s lemon law. This law is designed to give consumers a form of recourse against manufacturers or car dealers who sell defective vehicles. Purchasing a vehicle is a major expense for many consumers, making the protections provided under the law crucial. In order to ensure that these rights are not compromised, however, consumers must be aware of and comply with certain important time limits.
Key Deadlines to Keep in Mind When Pursuing a Lemon Law Claim
How much time do you have to pursue a lemon law claim? The following is an overview:
- For a brand new car you have 18 months from the date you take possession of your vehicle to file a claim under Virginia’s lemon law. If you have purchased a used car, you have 18 months from the date the manufacturer's warranty first went into effect with the original owner to file a lawsuit.
- If the consumer has attempted an informal dispute settlement procedure, the time period for filing a claim in court is either one year from the manufacturer’s final action in the procedure or the original 18-months, whichever is longer.
- The time period during which a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle may be made is 18 months after delivery. If the manufacturer is notified in writing, either by certified mail or overnight mail, about the problem but it is not repaired, this time period maybe extended.
- The manufacturer may be given a final opportunity to repair the vehicle that is not to exceed 15 days from the date the written notice is received.
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