Washington’s Lemon Law, arguably the best in the nation, became sweeter for consumers with two legislation changes. The program helps vehicle owners who have continuing problems with warranty repairs.
Under the Lemon Law, consumers who have a lemon on their hands have the option to have the vehicle replaced or bought back by the manufacturer. Consumers who choose a replacement car are obligated to pay the manufacturer an “offset for use” based on how many miles the car has been driven. New legislation changes how that fee is calculated.
Before, all miles were considered up until a lemon was returned to the manufacturer. But now the only miles that count are those driven before the first time the car was taken to a repair shop for diagnosis. This change is likely to save consumers thousands of bucks and shrink the offset fee by an average of 50-75 percent.
Another change extends Washington’s Lemon Law to residents of other states who bought or leased a new car in Washington.
The Lemon Law allows vehicle owners to request an arbitration hearing through the Attorney General’s Office anytime within 2 ½ years of the vehicle’s original retail delivery date. To qualify, your car must be new or have less than 24,000 miles when you purchased or leased it. If you think you have a lemon on your hands, you must try to resolve your dispute with the manufacturer prior to requesting an arbitration hearing.