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Basics of the Lemon Law in West Virginia
The state of West Virginia affords certain protections to those purchasing vehicles in regards to their quality and usability. More specifically, the law protect purchasers from having to settle for a “lemon,” a term used to describe a vehicle that fails to meet certain conditions and requirements set forth in the terms of warranties associated with it. According to the applicable lemon law in West Virginia, and as posted on the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, vehicle manufacturers are afforded a limited number of attempts to repair a vehicle’s defect before the law forces them to their replace the vehicle or give the purchaser a refund.
Lemon vehicles in the state of West Virginia are defined according to the relevant law as vehicles sold as new that are defective and unable to be repaired after a reasonable number attempts is made to do so by the manufacturer. If a manufacturer fails to repair a vehicle sufficiently according to the terms of the applicable warranty, it can be considered a lemon if the defect is significant enough. In order to meet the requirements of the law, the defect must either significantly reduce the resale value of the car, make the vehicle unsafe to operate and will likely cause serious injury or death, or impair the normal function of the vehicle. The law defines a reasonable number of attempts at repair as one one attempt for defects that could lead to death or serious injury, and three attempts for all other malfunctions.
If a vehicle is considered a lemon under the applicable law, the purchaser has certain rights in getting the situation remedied. For one, the manufacturer is under a duty to replace the lemon vehicle with a suitable replacement. Otherwise, the purchaser may be entitled to a refund and reimbursement for certain costs and fees associated with the vehicle’s malfunction and corresponding legal action.
Defending a Claim
The purpose of lemon laws is to protect consumers and also to ensure the safety of cars on the roadways. As such, it takes a skilled defense team to defend against a claim filed under West Virginia’s lemon law. However, defending against such claims is not impossible, and may even be straightforward depending on the circumstances of the case. It is up to the plaintiff, the party bringing the action in court, to prove his or her case to the requisite degree of proof required in order to be successful. Therefore, a failure to do so on any element of the claim, including the condition of a purchased car, an insufficient defect, a known history of repairs by the purchaser, or failing to allow a reasonable number of attempts at repair may be factors that could lead to dismissal of the claim.
Lemon Law Defense Attorney
The defense attorneys at the law firm of Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, have successful experience defending lemon law cases in the state of West Virginia and are prepared to handle your case, as well. Please feel free to contact us today to schedule a consultation in our Charleston office to discuss your matter.