Summary of Florida Lemon Law
Florida’s lemon laws state that if the buyer or lessee of a vehicle finds a major fault in it – which the manufacturers are unable to fix even after 3 valid attempts- the manufacturer is liable to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. This law applies to the vehicle throughout a period of 2 years from delivery, and if the vehicle is meets the eligibility criteria as specified by Florida’s state laws, the owner of the vehicle can claim their lemon aid and demand the manufacturers to provide them with the necessary reimbursement, in the form of a refund or replacement of the faulty vehicle through arbitration. The repurchase and replacement amount will also cover any additional costs the owner underwent while purchasing the vehicle.
Lemon Eligibility in Florida
To be eligible for lemon aids in Florida, the vehicle needs to have been bought or leased in Florida. The law includes all cars, trucks and demonstrators which have been bought for purposes other than resale. Vehicles not protected by this law include living facilities of motorhomes, vehicles run on tracks, off-road vehicles, mopeds, and other vehicles which weigh over 10,000 pounds. Vehicle converters are also covered under this law.
Florida Lemon Law on Used Vehicles
Used vehicles are also eligible to receive lemon aid benefits as long as they are still under the manufacturer’s express warranty. However, the vehicle needs to be transferred to the subsequent owner of the vehicle within a period of 2 years from when the vehicle was delivered to the original owner.
Nonconformities are the defects in the vehicle which are caused by the manufacturer’s fault. These nonconformities need to have severely impaired the vehicle’s functionality, usability, market value as well as safety in order to be considered, and must not have been caused by any accident, abuse, modification or neglect by the customer in any way.
Florida Lemon Law Time Limit
A customer is eligible to apply for a lemon claim within a period of 2 years from the delivery.
The manufacturer needs to be given at least 3 attempts to repair the same nonconformity before the customer can claim that the vehicle is a lemon. If these repair attempts are unsuccessful, the manufacturer needs to be sent a written notice by the consumer informing them about the nonconformity. The manufacturer is then granted an additional attempt to repair the vehicle within 10 days of receiving this notice (45 days for recreational vehicles). If the manufacturer is unable to fix the vehicle even after the additional attempt, the customer is then eligible to receive their lemon aid. If the vehicle remains out of service for repair reasons for 15 days, the customer may send the manufacturer another notice to repair the nonconformity. If it remains unrepaired for a period of 30 days or more in total (60 days for recreational vehicles), the customer may then claim their lemon aid too.
A repair attempt has been defined as an attempt by the manufacturer to correct the nonconformity to replace or make adjustments to a faulty part. Any such attempts made by the owner are not considered repair attempts.
Lemon Law Compensation in Florida
If the manufacturer is unable to correct the nonconformity, they must either replace the vehicle with a new, comparable model, or repurchase it from the owner. The customer may choose which of these two options they prefer and make the final decision. To do so, the customer must undergo the arbitration program that the manufacturers are affiliated with.
However, if the consumer is not informed through a written notice regarding how they can go about the arbitration process after they send them a notice, or if the manufacturers are not affiliated with any certified arbitration program, they may proceed with the case at the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board.
Florida Lemon Law Arbitration
The custom must file a lemon claim with the state-certified arbitration program associated with the manufacturer within a period of 60 days after the 2 year period expires. If the manufacturer is not associated with any such programs, then the consumer may approach the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board. The board can also be approached if the state-certified program does not pass its decision 40 days after the claim has been processed, or if the customer is unsatisfied with the decision passed by the program, and this needs to be done within 30 days of the state-certified program’s decision being passed.
Repurchase or Replacement for Lemon in Florida
If your arbitration claim is deemed valid and you opt for repurchase, the manufacturer will have to give you a full refund of the amount the customer purchased the vehicle for, as well as any additional amount which was charged by the manufacturer. A certain amount may be deducted from the final amount paid to the customer as a charge for the time period for which the vehicle was adequately used by the owner. The following formula is used to calculate this charge:
Miles driven by the customer / 120,000 (60,000 for recreational vehicles) x Purchasing price of the vehicle
The miles considered should exclude the ones driven to the manufacturer’s repair station for repairing the nonconformity.
The same applies to leased vehicles, except that the vehicle’s leasing cost is considered instead of the purchasing price.
In case of a replacement, the vehicle provided to the customer should be new and identical or reasonably equal to the original vehicle. The customer will also be refunded any additional amounts, excluding the purchase price, charged from them while purchasing the vehicle. The customer will, however, be charged for their usage of the vehicle, and the charges for this will be calculated using the same formula as stated above.
Other Florida Laws