If you purchase a new car or truck in Florida and it turns out that it has a defect that is detrimental to the use of the vehicle, its safety or value, the Florida lemon law is in place to help you get a new vehicle or a refund of the purchase price.
Definition of a lemon in Florida:
The definition of a lemon varies somewhat state by state, in Florida if you purchase a new vehicle or demonstrator that is intended fro for personal, family or household use and it has or develops a condition which substantially impairs its use, safety or value in the first 24 months then it is a lemon. If the defect is the result of an accident, abuse or modification by anyone other than the manufacturer or the manufacturers authorized dealer, then the vehicle is not covered under law.
A few examples of what are said to be “non-conformities” under the Florida lemon law are mechanical or electrical problems, defective brakes or steering or even a finish problem that demands complete re-painting.
What vehicles are covered under Florida law?
Any vehicle purchased new or a vehicle that was used as a demonstrator qualifies as long as the vehicle is intended for personal, family or household use. The definition applies to cars and light trucks but also applies to the non-living area of a recreational vehicle. Leased cars are covered if the arrangement is lease-purchase or the lease is in excess of a year and the lessee has assumed the responsibility for necessary repairs.
Heavy trucks over 10,000 pound GVW, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, motor scooters and mopeds are not covered under the lemon law.
Preserving your rights:
Just because you declare the vehicle a lemon is not good enough, relief under the Florida lemon law is not granted automatically. As the consumer it is your responsibility to keep records of all repairs, use only a repair facility authorized by the vehicle manufacturer and obtain written repair orders.
To qualify for relief your vehicle must have been out of service and not available for to use for a total of 30 days or your vehicle must have been an authorized repair facility four times for the same defect over a two year period.
If your vehicle reaches 15 days out of service or three trips in for repair you must provide written notification directly to the manufacturer giving them one final chance to fix the defect. If this does not work you can claim a refund or ask for a replacement vehicle.
If you have purchased a new vehicle in Florida and it has a serious defect, one that affects its safety, use or value then you can get recourse under the terms of the Florida Lemon Law.