A Guide to Understanding the Lemon Law in Texas

The Texas Lemon Law is a state law passed by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. This law was designed for customers who either purchased or rented a new motor vehicle that had several manufacturing defects. The Lemon Law assists these customers in fixing their vehicle. If the vehicle can’t be repaired, a new or replacement vehicle is purchased. This law doesn’t apply to farm equipment, boats, non-travel trailers, or vehicles that have been repossessed.


Is Your Vehicle Eligible for Lemon Law Coverage?


There are specific conditions that your vehicle must meet, in order for it to be considered a lemon, under the Texas Lemon Law. The following lists those conditions:


  • It has a significant manufacturing defect.
  • The defect is protected by a written guarantee from the manufacturer.
  • While under the warranty, the owner reports the flaw to the manufacturer or producer.
  • The owner makes a fair number of tries, for the dealer, to fix the defect or problem.
  • The owner provides a notice, in writing, of the defect to the manufacturer and has given them one chance to resolve the defect.
  • The defect continues and seriously impairs the usage or market price of the vehicle or poses a severe safety hazard.


How many opportunities does the dealer have to correct the issue?


The law assumes you have provided a fair number of attempts to repair the defect to the manufacturer or approved dealer. It is easy to tell whether the dealer has had a sufficient amount of corrections. Just see whether you pass the serious safety-hazard test, the four-day test, or the 30-day test. Mileage requirements do not apply to vehicles without an odometer or to TRVs.


What is the serious safety-hazard test?


It is a life-threatening failure that seriously hinders your ability to normally control or operate the vehicle, or that produces a serious fire or explosion hazard. You are eligible for assistance, if the vehicle wasn’t fixed after taking it to the manufacturer, within the first two years, or 24,000 miles of purchase.


What is the four day test?


If you have taken your vehicle to the manufacturer, for the same defect at least four times, you are eligible for coverage. The defect must still not be fixed. You must have also taken it, within the first two years, or 24,000 miles of purchase.


What is the 30 day test?


If your vehicle has not been repaired for at least 30 days, you are eligible for assistance. The defect must be covered, under the manufacturer’s original warranty. Similar to the serious safety-hazard and four day test, it must also be, during the first two years, or 24,000 miles of purchase. Also, the defect must still exist.


What is the time limit for filing a complaint?


It must be filed within six months of expiration of the manufacturer’s original warranty. It must be at least two years, after purchase, or 24,000 miles, following the vehicle’s delivery date. The complaint is filed based on which event comes first. The complaint should be filed, when the dealer is unable to repair the defect.


What’s next, if I win?


If you justify your position, the law provides basic rules for what form of relief you are eligible for. Each situation is distinct. When making a decision, the department checks the details of each individual case. If you win, you will be awarded with either a refund, replacement, or repair. In order to receive a refund, the manufacturer must buy back the vehicle, for the original purchase price. This includes the license, taxes, and title fee. The charge, for using the vehicle, will be subtracted from the purchase price. Other factors will be taken into consideration as well, such as the number of miles driven. A formula will be used to calculate the total deduction.


If you are rewarded with a replacement, the manufacturer must provide you with a vehicle that is similar to the original vehicle, such as the make, model, and year. The number of miles driven, on the original vehicle, will determine the price and type of vehicle. On the other hand, if you are granted repairs, the manufacturer must fix all defects. Any out-of-pocket repair expenses will be refunded. The repairs must have been covered by the original warranty.