Texas Lemon Laws

The state of Texas, in association with federal law, requires that owners of defective motor vehicles be compensated. Only certain motor vehicles are eligible as well as other products and include motorcycles, boats, RVs, trucks, appliances, and computers. To qualify as a lemon, a motor vehicle or appliance must have undergone several repairs while still under the warranty of the factory. These repairs must have been attempts for the same defect without success. Texas law states that lemons are to be compensated through replacement, refund, or compensation of cash.

In order to have a lemon issued, an individual must send a letter of notification to the manufacturer to request a hearing. In some cases a hearing is necessary. In some cases it is not. Since the 1991 altering to the law, the amount of time consumers have to file for a lemon has been extended. Law also requires each replacement or repurchase be followed by a disclosure notice.

In 1997 a new section was added to Texas' lemon laws in regards to towable recreation vehicles. In order to be eligible for lemon laws, the law states that towable recreation vehicles need to be single chassis built, be registered and titled in the state of Texas, be able to be towed by another motor vehicle, and have at least one life support system.

Used motor vehicles may also be eligible for lemon compensation. These kinds of motor vehicles are only eligible for part replacement but only if those motor vehicles are under their original factory warranties.

Texas lemon laws apply to new motor vehicles, including vans, cars, trucks, all-terrain vehicles motor homes, motorcycles, and towable vehicles. These must still be covered under the factory's written warranty. Texas also considers demonstrator vehicles to be new motor vehicles.

The law does not cover motor vehicles that have been abused by their owners - including unauthorized changes and neglect - motor vehicles that have components or parts that were not installed or authorized by the manufacturer, or vehicles that have defects that are not substantially affecting their use or marketing value. Lemon laws normally include defects that will inhibit the safety of the driver, passengers, or others. Radio problems or rattles are not considered serious enough to be considered lemons.

Lemons are further broken down to ensure that only true lemons are petitioned for replacement. In Texas motor vehicles must meet all the necessary conditions. A motor vehicle needs to be under the manufacturer's warranty; the motor vehicle must have a severe abnormality or defect; the defect must be reported to the manufacturer or dealer while still under warranty; the motor vehicle must have undergone a reasonable number of repair attempts and must have proof; the manufacturer must have been notified of the condition and given one opportunity for repair; the defect must impair the motor vehicle's proper use, safety, or market value; and all filing fees must be paid and filed in a timely manner along with a Lemon Law complaint.

A reasonable number of attempts often includes three or four attempts.